Do people recoil when you’re talking to them and cover their noses? Do flowers wither as you walk by? Do people offer to call you on the phone when you request a face to face meeting?Get a clue – you’ve probably got really bad breath!
Unfortunately, there’s a major design flaw in the human body. We can’t smell our own breath – despite the fact that our nose is directly above our mouth! Sure there are plenty of remedies out there for curing bad breath. But until someone has the guts to tell you that your breath smells like the bottom of a garbage can, you’re going to go about your daily life wondering why a FACE TO FACE meeting with you means a good 30 feet between you and the other person!
1. Brush & Floss Regularly
Your mouth is a playground for a vast array of different bacteria. Some are harmless while others perform useful functions – in a healthy mouth. If you’re a smoker though, or you don’t brush and floss regularly, then you’re asking for trouble.Food gets trapped in the teeth and as is the way with any food left lying around in a dark, warm and damp environment it starts to rot and with that comes that oh-so-unpleasant odor.
It’s important to brush and floss at least twice a day. Most of the damage to teeth is done at night. Bacteria that break down food particles produce acids that eventually break down the dentin and enamel on the surface of the tooth, leading to tooth decay and bad breath.
Your mom was right when she forced you to brush your teeth before you went to bed!
Poor oral hygiene has also been linked to other diseases, including heart disease, joint and vascular problems. So do your mouth and your body a favor and brush regularly – especially at night – your body and your friends will like you better for it.
Unfortunately fighting bad breath for some people is a daily battle. Diabetics often exude a strange chemical odor, or bad breath may actually be a symptom of respiratory tract diseases.
If you’ve done everything you can to try to maintain a clean mouth but still have halitosis, then it’s probably time for a trip to the dentist. Often your teeth will just require a good cleaning to remove the layer of plaque that builds up and can harbor unfriendly, stink-producing bacteria. Persistent bad breath could also be a sign of gum disease.
Back in the day, doctors often asked you to stick out your tongue when you were feeling unwell. You can tell a lot about a person’s health just from a quick visual examination of the mouth. The tongue can hide a lot of secrets, especially harmful bacteria.
After flossing and cleaning your teeth thoroughly, you can either use a specially-designed tongue scraper for removing some of the thousands of bacteria living on your tongue or give it a quick scrub with your toothbrush. You may be amazed at how much fresher your mouth feels afterwards!
2. Stay Hydrated
When a mouth becomes devoid of saliva, odor-causing bacteria can thrive. Saliva contains oxygen that deters the growth of oral bacteria. The solution is to always drink plenty of fluids, preferably water, to keep bacteria at bay.
3. Avoid Pungent Foods
One of the most disgusting smells is garlic breath. Onions and other strongly-flavored foods can also be culprits.
Not only do you end up with bits of these foods caught between your teeth but when they’re digested they make their way into the bloodstream and can be exuded by the lungs, making your breath doubly-stinky. If you’re prone to bad breath, especially in the afternoons and even if you do brush after eating lunch, try cutting out these odorous little ingredients.
4. Drink Water after Your Coffee
Following on from odoriferous foods such as garlic and onions, we come to drinks. Liquors such as whisky smell pretty bad even before they’re consumed. But when strong-smelling liquors and beers enter the bloodstream they are exhaled in the breath – and smell even worse.
But it’s not just alcohol; sodas and coffee are just the same. They lower the pH balance in the mouth, allowing bacteria to thrive. By drinking a glass of water after your coffee you can restore that pH level back to normal. Better still, avoid the sugary sodas altogether and just drink the water! The coffee, well, that’s probably too much to ask.
5. Gums & Mints
There’s a wide selection of gums and mints available that may help you keep your breath smelling sweet temporarily. If it’s impossible for you to brush your teeth or use a mouthwash throughout the day, find a gum that may do the trick.
The sugar-free kinds are a good choice, but mints and gums are only a temporary fix – all they do is mask the problem for a few minutes. They leave even more residue for bacteria to feed on, long after they’ve been consumed.
The solution is to look for a gum that contains Xylitol, and we’ll explain why below.
6. Use Xylitol Products Combat Bad Breath
Xylitol is a natural product that’s found in many kinds of fruit, berries, corn husks, oats and vegetables. It looks and tastes exactly like sugar but without all the side-effects – one of which is bad breath.
By using Xylitol as a sweetener or breath-freshening gum, oral bacteria have nothing they can feed on, unlike sugar. The chemical composition of Xylitol eliminates the problem. Xylitol does not upset the pH balance in the mouth. Oral bacteria are simply not able to use it as a food source, or break it down to produce harmful acids. It’s also perfectly safe for diabetics as it has a much lower glycemic index than sugar.
To combat bad breath look for a gum that contains Xylitol and carry a pack around with you. Chew a piece after every snack or meal and you’ll soon be able to kiss your bad breath goodbye.
The bottom line is, if your mouth is pushing people away even BEFORE you speak, take a few of the tips above and PLEASE (for the sake of others and your health) use them!