Everyone’s been around someone with smelly breath. Maybe your Uncle Joe at Thanksgiving steps in too close to greet you. Or, perhaps that one coworker who always has onions on their turkey sub sandwich. We’ve all likely had bad breath every now and then. It’s not something that’s limited to other people. Bad breath — AKA “halitosis” — happens. But you don’t have to live with it. At Caring Family Dentistry in Concord, we’re here to offer you these keys to fresh breath. In this blog, you’ll learn about some of the things that cause bad breath. You’ll also discover how to moderate or limit those causes and some steps you can take to eliminate bad breath altogether.
What Causes Bad Breath
As with most orthodontic issues, bad breath has no single cause. It’s usually the product of one or more choices or behaviors working together. Likewise, if someone doesn’t regularly practice healthy orthodontic habits, that might aggravate a pre-existing bad breath problem. Here are a few things that might cause it.
Funky and Flavorful Foods
Who doesn’t love a nice, cheesy slice of pizza? Or a big, juicy burger? Yum! Just the thought is enough to make anyone salivate. But after you finish eating, here’s something to consider. It may sound elementary, but work with us. The food you just ate is matter — specifically a solid. And that milkshake you had with it? A liquid. Well, smells are matter too. Specifically, they are gasses. Why is that important? Because smells are made of atoms. They actually do take up space. So when you finish a meal, there are particles of the smell in your lungs, throat, and mouth.
Over the last few years, chewing tobacco has fallen out of fashion. If you’re one of those people who still chews tobacco, then you’re well aware of how it makes breath smell. The same goes for smoking cigarettes and cigars. Putting the health effects aside, breathing in smoldering ashes will definitely make your breath smell awful.
But like all trends, smoking trends change with time. Vaping is en vogue at the moment. Because vape products tend to be pleasantly scented, you might think that they’d freshen your breath. First, consider the potential negative oral health effects of vaping. Furthermore, propylene glycol, the additive that makes vape products fragrant, dries out your mouth. Dry mouths put off pungent odors. Ick!
If you eat the Standard American Diet then your nutrition is high in salt, refined sugar, and saturated fats. As with smoking, behaviors like these have a number of adverse health effects. Especially if you aren’t drinking enough water (which most people don’t), the Standard American diet can leave you dehydrated. One symptom of dehydration is dry mouth. You see where this is going, don’t you? One way to stay hydrated, and thus freshen breath, is to incorporate a diverse array of fruits and veggies into your nutrition.
What Can I Do About Bad Breath?
You probably already know most of what we’re going to tell you. Bad breath is made up of particles that you can’t see. It actually does occupy space. And the best way to get rid of it is to replace it with something that smells better. Not to cover it up, but to eliminate it. Here are some things you can put into practice if you aren’t already.
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth at least twice a day. Each brushing session should last roughly two minutes. Not sure the best way to brush your teeth? No worries. Here’s a quick step-by-step guide.
- Wet your toothbrush.
- Apply toothpaste (about the size of a pea) to the bristles of your toothbrush.
- At about a 45° angle, brush each surface of your teeth (front, back, top, and sides).
- Don’t skip your tongue! This is where a lot of bad breath germs are stored.
In addition to brushing, use fluoride mouthwash to access those hard-to-reach places. Invest in some quality dental floss as well. These 3 habits alone will make a tremendous difference in your breath.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
We already mentioned dehydration in the Nutrition section. So you know that dehydration gives you cottonmouth. You can help relieve cottonmouth by drinking. And by this we mean drinking water. Avoid beverages high in sugar like sodas and energy drinks. Also, pass on alcoholic beverages — wine, beer, spirits, liquor, etc. They will only contribute to bad breath. Drink plenty of water. For men, that’s about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters). And for women, 11.5 cups (2.7 liters).
Care About Your Breath
The best way to care for your breath (and the rest of your mouth) is to schedule an appointment at Caring Family Dentistry in Concord. Visit us here to do just that.