If you notice that people don’t get too close to you when you speak, or that they try to discretely lean away, then it could just mean that you have bad breath. No one likes to hear it but it is worse not knowing that your breath smells foul. It’s very embarrassing and can discourage people from talking to you. It’s also not good for first impressions and it may eventually lower your self-esteem. Bad breath, medically known as halitosis or malodor, can be more than just inadequate oral hygiene. It can also be a result of cavities or certain gum diseases, and may even be an indicator of an underlying disease. However, most of the time, it is simply caused by a build-up of bacteria in your mouth. If you’re tired of embarrassing yourself as people lean away when you speak, here are eight ways you can get rid of bad breath.
- Brush and floss
Perhaps the simplest way to get rid of bad breath is by improving your oral hygiene. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. This way, you can get rid of the sticky build-up called plaque that collects foul odour-causing bacteria. Brushing and flossing also gets rid of trapped food between your teeth that contributes to the problem. Don’t overdo brushing and flossing though, or else you’ll wear down your teeth and make them vulnerable to decay.
There are a lot of mouthwash or oral rinse products that specialize in preventing bad breath. They do this by getting rid of the bacteria that causes the foul odour. However, remember not to use alcohol based mouthwashes since its alcohol content tends to dry out the mouth, making the problem even worse.
Gargling plain water every after meal is a great way to help lessen bad breath. By doing so, you’re immediately getting rid of the food particles that can get stuck between your teeth and harbour the odor-causing bacteria. You can also add a small amount of salt in the water to effectively get rid of the bacteria and germs in your mouth and throat.
Many people don’t know that being dehydrated can actually contribute to bad breath. This is because when you are not properly hydrated and your mouth doesn’t have enough moisture to produce saliva, you’re actually providing the odor-causing bacteria with an ideal environment to develop in your mouth. Just remember to avoid dry mouth by drinking enough fluids, especially water.
- Clean your tongue
Brushing your teeth is not enough to get rid of odour-causing bacteria—you should clean your tongue as well. After all, your tongue has a lot of surface area and a lot of bumps and grooves that can collect more bacteria than the rest of your mouth combined. You can buy a tongue brush or you can use your regular toothbrush to clean your tongue from the back to the front.
- Eat foods rich in fiber
High fiber foods can actually help in lessening and preventing bad breath. In fact, eating an apple a day is one of the best ways to remove bacteria in your mouth. Apples can help moisten your mouth as well. Processed foods, on the other hand, that contain refined carbohydrates such as sweets, ice creams, cookies, or cakes can contribute to the problem.
- Stop smoking
Tobacco is a major contributor of bad breath. Not only will it dry out your mouth, but it will also leave a distinct smell in the smoker’s mouth. Smoking can even lead to oral cancer so it’s better to quit now than later.
- Watch the foods you eat
There are foods that can greatly contribute to bad breath including raw onion and garlic. The substances that cause their foul odor is absorbed in the bloodstream and excreted by the lungs, causing halitosis. Avoid acidic and sugary or high-fructose foods as well since these foods increase the production of bacteria in your mouth.