Do you have bad breath? In most kids, bad breath is caused by something they just ate - perhaps onion or garlic. However, for some adults bad breath is a chronic problem.
Does your mouth smell bad even if you haven't eaten anything foul smelling - or, even if you haven't eaten anything at all?
Here are some tips to help you combat bad breath or 'halitosis'.
Clean your tongue well. Much of the bacteria responsible for bad breath lives on the tongue - especially on the far inside of the tongue. So, when brushing your teeth, do try and reach as far behind as you possibly can, without gagging.
It is essential to brush properly and regularly, as bad breath is also caused by plaque.
Use mouthwash after brushing your teeth in the morning.
Carry mint with you wherever you go. Although this will not cure bad breath, it will help disguise it. Don't go for a very strong flavoured mint as this too can give out an odour. Something milder like Menthos should do the trick perfectly. Alternatively, you could chew sugar free gum for a couple of minutes everyday, perhaps after lunch or just before a meeting.
Cloves are a natural remedy to bad breath. They contain substances that counter bacteria, hampering its growth in your mouth and thus reducing the chances of your breath smelling bad.
If your gums bleed often, this could be the sign of a gum disease. In some people gum diseases cause bad breath. If you think you may be having a gum disease, you should get your teeth checked by a dentist as soon as possible. If left untreated, gum disease will only worsen, and you may lose all your teeth over time.
An inadequate intake of liquids also causes bad breath. Do keep a bottle of water by your side when you are at work, and keep sipping at intervals. Tea and coffee are not counted, since they actually function as diuretics and drain your body of fluids. Juice, coconut water, water based flavoured drinks like Tang, are fine. No, Coke, Pepsi, Limca and other soft drinks don't count!
You must floss regularly to get rid of the smelly bacteria lodged between the teeth. If you are very irregular with flossing, invest in toothpicks. Toothpicks, especially plastic ones, also effectively remove particles wedged between the teeth. However, you may not be able to reach behind the teeth at the every end - which will constantly go on harbouring bacteria and could lead to further bad breath problems.
We all know that eating too many chocolates and hard sweets that stay in the mouth for a long time is not good for the teeth. This is because sugar produces acids, which stick to the plaque. Although you need not brush your teeth every time you eat something sweet, do try and wash out your mouth or drink a lot of water afterwards to neutralize the acid attack. You could also follow up anything sweet with a piece of cheddar cheese.
Visit your dentist once in six months for a professional cleaning. Your dentist can then remove any calculus that may have formed on your teeth, and can seal off cavities in time before they get any worse.