One of the last things that any of us wants is to realize our breath has been giving off a less than pleasant odor, especially considering all of the people we have spoken to in a close up environment on that particular day. So how can we make sure that we don’t find ourselves in this embarrassing situation- how can we make sure that we keep bad breath far away from us?

The cause of most bad breath is bacteria in the mouth. These bacteria go to work on leftover food particles in the mouth, and in turn emit the less than pleasant odors that we call bad breath or halitosis. While one can use mouthwash or gum, these only mask the bad breath and don’t address the underlying issue of the bacteria. Generally speaking, there are two main categories of “bad breath busters”: proper oral hygiene, and natural bad breath prevention. We take a look at each category in a little more detail.

Diligent oral hygiene habits are perhaps the most important of our weapons when it comes to the battle against bad breath.  A personal oral-hygiene plan that includes regular tooth brushing and flossing is an extremely important. People who suffer from bad breath regularly need to brush their teeth after every meal to help remove the food residue that bacteria will grow on. Brushing of the teeth also helps to loosen and remove the bacteria from inside the mouth. Victims of bad breath should also focus on brushing their tongue with regularity. Mouth bacteria tend to heavily congregate on the back of the tongue- this alone is thought to cause 80-90% of all bad breath problems.

The second way to help fight bad breath is in the use of natural remedies. Some examples of these are listed below:

●        Use baking soda when brushing your teeth. This increases the alkalinity in your mouth, which helps slow the growth of the bacteria that cause bad breath.

●       Rinse your mouth with hydrogen peroxide to reduce bad breath. Be careful not to swallow the peroxide.

●        Gargling with saltwater is another method of reducing the bacteria population in your mouth.

●        Avoid eating foods containing refined carbohydrates and sugars (i.e., cookies, cakes, candy, ice cream, soft drinks, syrups)—these can increase bacteria growth in your mouth.

●        Make sure you drink plenty of water—6 to 8 glasses per day. Staying well-hydrated promotes the formation of saliva, which helps rinse food residue from the mouth and thus helps to keep bacteria away.

●        Don’t smoke or drink alcoholic beverages, as these contribute heavily to bad breath.