Waking up with breath that is not fresh in the morning is the norm, but if bad breath persists throughout the day, you need to take measures to improve your breath and keep your teeth healthy as well. The following simple steps can help you improve your oral hygiene.
- Brush and floss regularly.
Plaque, the sticky buildup along and below the gum line, collects bacteria that cause bad breath. Left-over food substances also adds to the problem.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss at least once. If you’re concerned about your oral health, do both a little more frequently, then plaque never gets the chance to harden into tartar.
However, note not to overdo things. Brushing too hard can wear down your teeth, making them prone to decay.
- Scrape your tongue.
The sticky coating that normally forms on your tongue can host foul-smelling bacteria. Use your toothbrush to brush gently brush your tongue to remove all of the film on it.
If you find it difficult to reach the back of your tongue because of your big toothbrush, try a scraper instead. “They’re designed specifically to apply even pressure across the surface of the tongue area. This removes bacteria, food debris, and dead cells that brushing alone can’t take care of,” says hygienist Pamela L. Quinones, past president of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association.
- Quit smoking
Aside from causing cancer, smoking can lead to gum disease by affecting the attachment of bone and soft tissue to your teeth, stain your teeth and cause bad breath.
Over-the-counter nicotine patches can help tame the urge to smoke. If you can’t quit smoking yourself, talk to your doctor and ask about quit-smoking programs or prescription medications that can help you stop smoking permanently.
- Keep your gums healthy
Bacteria found in plaque and tartar can cause gum disease which results in bad breath. Bacteria seeks out and gathers in the pockets at your tooth’s base, creating an odor.
- Keep your mouth moist
Saliva is essential to maintain the health of your teeth and mouth. Without making enough saliva, you’re more likely to get tooth decay and bad breath. If your mouth gets dry, drink plenty of fluids throughout the day.
Chew sugarless gum or suck on sugar-free hard candy to stimulate salivary glands. Besides you can use a humidifier at night to moisten the air in your bedroom.