Combatting Against Bad Breath: Causes, Solutions, and When You Should See a Dentist
Oral health isn’t just having a pretty smile, it’s truly a reflection of your overall health. Bad breath is one of the more obvious signs of poor oral hygiene. A daily routine is essential to keeping dental issues away and making your breath smell as fresh as possible. Taking care of your gums and teeth are an important part of good oral hygiene that should be done every day. So what does an effective routine to fight bad breath actually do for you? We’ll tell you.
The Right Way To Brush
Brushing your teeth is something that you’ve known how to do since you were a small child, right? It may seem like second nature but you might be shocked to know that there’s much more to it than just putting toothpaste on a brush and calling it a day. Here are a few examples of the right way to brush your teeth every day and really help in the fight against bad breath:
Choosing The Right Brush
When choosing the right brush, you need to think about a few factors: manual vs. electric and bristle type
Manual vs. electric toothbrushes:
Manual brushes are cost-effective, however electric toothbrushes provide a more thorough clean, especially for those who struggle brushing for 2 minutes, and effectively cleaning the entirety of their teeth.
Bristle type toothbrushes:
Soft bristles are always the best choice. When getting harder bristles, you run into the risk of damaging your gum line and causing irritation. You need some form of pressure when brushing your teeth to remove plaque, so adding pressure along with hard bristles is a recipe for disaster, and your enamel.
The Correct Technique
Brushing should be more than just back and forth. The correct technique is actually to brush in a circular motion, making sure you hit on every side and inch of every tooth. Spending 2 minutes brushing and using the circular motion will ensure you are brushing every surface, especially the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
Importance of Fluoride Toothpaste
Why does the type of toothpaste matter? Fluoride toothpaste is a natural mineral, which reverses cavities and tooth decay when used properly. It makes your teeth more resistant to acid from unwanted bacteria.
Regularly updating your teeth-brushing knowledge ensures that you’re truly giving your teeth and gums the best care possible. Overall, technique really does matter.
The Often Overlooked Art of Flossing
People always forget to floss, which is why your dentist typically asks you IF you floss every time you go to an appointment. Flossing adds that extra edge to your teeth cleaning routine, getting in the nooks and crannies in between your teeth and removing that trapped plaque that becomes obvious thanks to bad breath.
Why Flossing is Crucial
Brushing your teeth obviously does a great job at cleaning your teeth, but that’s just the surface. Teeth brushing cannot reach in-between your teeth or even below the gumline. That is why flossing is crucial for your overall oral health.
- It removes trapped food between your teeth, which reduces the risk of cavities.
- It helps get rid of plaque in between your teeth, preventing gum diseases.
- It enhances your gum health and can reduce bleeding.
Correct Techniques to Floss
- Wind any excess floss around your middle fingers, leaving about an inch or so to work with in between your teet
- Hold the floss between your thumbs and index fingers, glide it up and down (gently) between every tooth
- Curve the floss around the base of each tooth, ensuring that you touch the gumline. Of course, be gentle. Don’t force it.
- Use a clean section of floss for every tooth
Alternatives to Normal Floss
There are different types of flossing alternatives that can make it relatively easier to do the same job
- Water flossers: a device that shoots water in between your teeth to do the same job as typical floss. This is typically useful for those with braces, as they cannot use regular floss as easily.
- Soft picks: flexible, rubber picks that can be used just as typical floss
Typically, flossing seems to be an extra annoying chore at the end or beginning of your day, however, the benefits outweigh the annoyance — especially if you really want to attack the root of bad breath.
The Role of Mouthwash in Oral Hygiene
Rinsing with mouthwash after brushing and flossing is a final step in making your mouth feel fresh and clean to start and end your day. Mouthwash is in fact much more than a feel-good product; it’s significant in complementing your routine for fresh breath.
Benefits of Mouthwash
- Cavity Prevention: Mouthwashes usually contain fluoride, just like toothpaste, which aids in the prevention of cavities and strengthens the enamel of your teeth.
- Gum Disease Prevention/Protection: The antiseptic formula of mouthwash fights bacteria that leads to gum diseases.
- Combat Bad Breath: Mouthwash helps neutralize the odors in your mouth.
When and How to Use Mouthwash
- Timing: the best time to use mouthwash is after brushing and flossing, the best environment for it to work properly.
- Technique: Take a capful and swish it around in your mouth for at most, a minute, then spit it out. Try to refrain from rinsing with water immediately, as the mouthwash is working behind the scenes in your mouth.
Choosing the right mouthwash for you, is of course, up to you. Everyone is different, as is everyone’s mouth. Mouthwash does not replace brushing or flossing, it works simultaneously with them.
Healthy Diet For Healthy Teeth
When it comes to bad breath, what you put in your body is what you get out of your body. What we consume plays a role. Foods that promote your oral health include: cheese, milk, yogurt, leafy greens, almonds, carrots, and apples; and those are just a few examples. Dairy products are rich in calcium and protein, which strengthen your enamel, greens are packed with vitamins and minerals which are also high in calcium and vitamin B, which offers health benefits for your gums. Crunchy fruits and vegetables also produce saliva, which prevents dry mouth.
Sugary and acidic foods and drinks should be consumed in moderation. They can erode your enamel and of course, cause cavities, which causes bad breath. Drinking water more than anything washes away food particles without leaving a residue.
Making wise choices with what you consume benefits your general health, and your oral health. Combating bad breath should start with what you consume.
Changing Your Toothbrush: When and Why
If you’re worrying about your bad breath, you may need to think about your toothbrush. How old is it? Using a toothbrush way past its prime does the opposite of what you need for your oral health. Toothbrushes don’t come with an actual expiration date like food does. However, if your toothbrush is looking flat, and frayed out like it got struck by lightning, it may be time to replace it. Overall, worn out bristles on a toothbrush cannot clean your teeth and gums as effectively as fresh ones, which is why a pack of toothbrushes usually comes with more than one. On the other hand, too old of a toothbrush is a home for unwanted bacteria and fungi, which is the last thing you want to use to clean your mouth. Frayed bristles can also damage your gums!
When maintaining a brand new toothbrush, make sure to not press overly hard. It ruins the bristles, and also hurts your teeth! Just this one step can be a huge turning point in helping your bad breath!
Tongue Cleaning for Bad Breath
Your tongue is a habitat for bacteria. When left unattended (not brushed or cleaned) it’s the main cause for bad breath and highly impacts your oral hygiene. Incorporating cleaning your tongue into your routine is essential for your dental care.
Why is cleaning your tongue important? Cleaning your tongue not only combats bad breath, but it can also enhance your taste buds! Removing the bacteria can help your tongue better perceive flavors.
Cleaning your tongue is fairly easy, you can either clean it with your toothbrush or even invest in a tongue scraper. Tongue scrapers scrape off the mucus layer from the tongue, which is all the nasty stuff that makes your breath bad.
How often should you clean your tongue? Definitely make it part of your daily routine, at least once a day. But remember, be gentle, because your tongue is highly sensitive.
Nightly Routines For Oral Health
You may think that brushing your teeth in the morning is enough. It may be! However, brushing both in the morning and night is ideal for bettering your oral health. When brushing your teeth at night, you add that extra cleanliness, getting rid of all the bacteria from the day.
Ending your day with a routine sets the tone for a fresh start in the morning. Adding teeth brushing at night can save you from dental issues down the road.
Oral health is linked to our well-being, like we stated previously. It’s about ensuring our bodies remain free from bacteria and diseases. A dedicated daily routine, both in the morning and at night can help combat your bad breath and keep it away.