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7 Fresh Tips for Preventing Bad Breath

What’s that smell?

I’d like to start this post with a little exercise. Begin by holding you hand(palm facing you) approximately 3 inches in front of your mouth. Now blow a full breath into your hand. While keeping your hand in place, take a whiff of the air in front of your hand. What do you smell? Hopefully nothing, or better yet, something pleasant. For those of you less than happy with what you’re smelling right now, this post may prove to be particularly prudent. I say that half-jokingly because we all know that anyone at any time can have bad breath. Heck, I’m quite diligent with my oral care routine and I still have bad breath from time to time. That being said, I believe we can all benefit from the advice in this post.

Bad Breath Causes

Before I get to the preventative tips, it’s important to understand where bad breath comes from. Bad breath, or Halitosis as it’s formally known, stems from a variety of common sources. The following are common sources of bad breath:

  • Certain food such as garlic, onions, fish, meat, cheese, etc.
  • Poor general oral hygiene
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Fasting
  • Nasal and sinus infections
  • Throat infections
  • Faulty dental restorations
  • Periodontal disease
  • Xerostomia(dry mouth)
  • Other underlying health conditions

7 Tips for Preventing Bad Breath

Knowing the causes of bad breath can help us to understand the measures we need to take to prevent it. In no particular order, here is a list of preventative measures you can take starting today to reduce the likelihood that you will have bad breath:

1) Brush & Rinse(with water) After Each Meal – Some of you may think I’m crazy for suggesting this. Sure, you may have to get creative if you don’t want to be seen brushing your teeth at work, but this is one of the best ways to ensure that food particles do not get stuck in the pockets surrounding your teeth.

2) Floss at Least Once Per Day – Flossing is equally important as brushing in my opinion. Just like recommendation number one above, flossing is intended to remove food particles from between the teeth. This will, in turn, create an unfavorable environment for bacteria growth. That’s exactly what we’re after.

3) Brush Your Tongue – The tongue carries approximately 50% of the total bacteria in your mouth. Where there’s bacteria, there’s odor. Whack this bacteria by brushing your tongue with toothpaste for at least 10 strokes. The middle 1/3 of your tongue is most prone to bacteria growth so pay special attention to that area. You may also want to try Dr. Weider’s Original Tung-Gel. This is specifically formulated for cleaning the tongue and removing bacteria.

4) Chew Sugarless Gum – Chewing sugarless gum can increase the flow of saliva and reduce the chances you’ll experience dry mouth-related bad breath. If gum isn’t your thing you can also try sugarless throat lozenges to create the same effect.

5) Drink Plenty of Water – This recommendation follows the same lines as the above suggestion. Drinking plenty of water reduces the occurrence of dry mouth by stimulating saliva production. Stick to water as alcohol and caffeinated drinks can lead to Xerostomia.

6) Swap out Your Toothbrush Every 3-4 Months An old toothbrush is a bacteria-riddled toothbrush. Gross, right? Bad breath or not this is a good tip to remember.

7) Quit Smoking – This is easier said than done, I’m sure. However, smoking caused nicotine and tar(among other nasty chemicals) to build up on the cheek walls, tongue, and teeth surfaces. It comes as no surprise that bad breath is nearly inevitable if you smoke. However, following the above tips can minimize your risk for developing bad breath.

Give us your tips

This is certainly not an exhaustive list, but it covers my top tips for preventing bad breath. Please share any others that you’ve had success with.

Reader Comments

  1. Bill Warner June 11th

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    I use a Gripit Floss Holder to floss regularly and stop bad breath. These handy devices come with their own floss supply that can be advanced in seconds and refilled from local drug and grocery stores. Floss is held tightly between two prong which permits scraping my tongue after flossing to purge my mouth of bacteria that cause bad breath.

  2. drdental June 14th

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    This comment is self-promotion since you’re selling the Gripit product. However, I like my readers to have options and they’re smart enough to decide on their own if they want to try your product. So, I’ll let it slide this time.

  3. memory foam June 17th

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    Helpful tips … I know that drinking plenty of water helps me in this, and also brushing the tongue, which most people don’t do. One can also accomplish this by using a metal tongue scraper in the morning before brushing. Thanks also for the reminder about avoiding old toothbrushes! I tend to forget to do this. Just looked at my current toothbrush and it’s a sorry sight.

  4. Nangel June 21st

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    I agree with you, When I brush my tongue, I feel good and fresh.

  5. Varun June 22nd

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    The points 1, 3 & 5 are the must do’s for preventing bad breath, cleaning your tongue removes all the microorganisms and the food particles which are left behind and being degraded which bring the foul smell.
    Nice Post.

  6. Tiran Walley November 10th

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    OK!!!! I must admitt that i am not a dentist yet,but this is now my new WEBESITE.I think proenamel is the greatest tooth paste on the market today.I my last visit to the dentist she blessed my with a small tube of the formula, and it really done a job on my mouth.Yes, i am most definitely did apointed i missed the samples you are were issueing out over (10)months age.

  7. Mrs. Joseph October 7th

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    Hey this was really helpful. i do brush my teeth & tongue daily. does eating cloves & cardamon daily prevents bad breath for ever?? plzz help me with this doubt!!!

  8. Cory Kemp October 8th

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    I’m glad you found this post helpful. Eating cloves and cardamon daily does not prevent bad breath permanently. It is only a temporary solution, but quite effective nonetheless.

  9. Newton dentists January 21st

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    I highly recommend a water jet/ water pik. It generates more pressure and localization than a mouth rinse. I find that it’s a great complement to flossing. Flossing will remove the big debris between teeth, the water jet will remove the tiny particles – those can stay for days in spite of good flossing, brushing, and rinsing habits. Of course, as they rot, these particles cause bad breath.

  10. Cat Salvatori September 22nd

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    I know that chewing parsley can help with bad breathe but it is not helping the root of the problem. Bad breathe is due to bacteria in your mouth. Keeping you teeth and mouth clean are key. Not only brushing your teeth and flossing but cleaning your tongue too. Ask your Dentist for a tongue cleaner. You gently drag it along your tongue a few times, this will help keeping your mouth clean and fresh. Rinsing with 1/2 of baking soda and water will help too.

  11. jason November 2nd

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    my dr told me to not brush my tongue and not use mouth wash, insted use salt water?

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