How to Prevent Bad Breath

Family Dentist

Do friends and family frequently offer you a mint? Do you wake up with a bad taste in your mouth every morning? Do you fear that your halitosis is causing co-workers to avoid getting too close to you?

If you have bad breath, you’re not alone. More than 80 million people suffer from chronic halitosis, and the biggest cause of this bad-breath epidemic is poor oral hygiene. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to combat this embarrassing problem, and the skilled providers at Trident Dental in Houston, Texas, want to help. Here, we share tips for preventing bad breath so you can stop worrying about it and have a healthier mouth. 

Brush and floss at least twice a day

Because the biggest cause of chronic bad breath is poor dental hygiene, you can remedy that problem immediately. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day — more if you’re concerned about your halitosis. Don’t brush so hard that you irritate your gums, but do use a soft-bristled toothbrush to loosen the food and bacteria that cause bad breath. 

Rinse after brushing with a good mouthwash

After you brush and floss, add a mouthwash to your morning and nighttime dental routine. The extra swishing and rinsing with a dentist-approved mouthwash not only washes away any leftover bacteria and food particles you may have missed with the toothbrush, but it also adds an extra layer of protection. Mouthwash can kill the germs that cause bad breath rather than simply covering up the odor and taste. 

Brush or scrape your tongue regularly

Bacteria naturally collect on your tongue. Smoking, dry mouth, and certain foods can make the problem worse. Brush or scrape your tongue with your toothbrush or a tongue scraper to remove bacteria from a coated tongue, especially if you’re a smoker or if you have dry mouth as a result of certain health conditions or medications.

Clean your dentures and other oral appliances

If you wear dentures or you have a bridge, retainer, or mouthguard, be sure to keep them clean. Ask us about the best products to use to keep all of your oral appliances clean and free from bacteria and food particles that lead to halitosis. 

Quit smoking

If you have chronic bad breath and you’re a smoker, make it a point to quit using tobacco products. Smoking is a contributing factor to chronic halitosis, and it also leads to dry mouth, which exacerbates your bad breath problems. 

Drink more water

Wetting your whistle throughout the day has numerous health benefits, one of them being that water washes away food particles and bacteria when it’s not convenient to brush, such as after lunch when you’re out and about. If medications or health conditions are causing your dry mouth, even though you drink enough water, ask the team at Trident Dental about a special mouthwash to help combat the problem. 

Snack on raw veggies and fruits

Munching on crispy fruits and vegetables like carrots and apples also help wash away mouth bacteria between meals and between brushing. Crunchy fruit and veggie snacks can also help alleviate bad breath associated with an empty stomach — a common occurrence of skipping meals. Acid builds up in your stomach and can lead to foul-smelling breath. 

Avoid garlic, onions, and sugary foods

Who doesn’t love a good garlicky hummus dip or caramelized onions atop a burger? While garlic has many health benefits, one of them isn’t fresh breath. If you’re trying to get your halitosis under control, you may need to avoid eating garlic and related foods for a while, or only eat it at home when you know you can brush, floss, and rinse with mouthwash immediately after. 

Sugary foods are also linked to bad breath, as they sit on your teeth and make the problem worse. Too much coffee, alcohol, and sodas can be culprits of bad breath, as well. 

Schedule regular dental visits

Keeping your teeth and gums healthy does more than help you avoid cavities and extensive dental work; it also helps keep your breath fresh. Schedule regular dental visits twice a year, or more frequently if recommended, to keep bad breath at bay. 

If you follow these guidelines but still find that your breath is less than acceptable, call Trident Dental at 281-975-4942, or request an appointment online.