Five Ways to Keep Bad Breath at Bay

brushingFor some patients, bad breath is something that only happens occasionally, after a meal heavy on garlic, for instance. For others, though, it’s a daily struggle caused by the accumulation and breakdown of bacteria in the mouth. That’s why frequent bad breath–also known as halitosis–is also a sign of early-stage gum disease.

The good news for patients who struggle daily with bad breath is that managing the condition is possible. By following these five helpful steps, patients with halitosis can experience relief and live more confidently.

Brush and floss regularly

Brushing and flossing are the first steps for anyone struggling with bad breath. These simple actions will help you control the amount of bacteria in your mouth by clearing away leftover food particles that contribute to the production and buildup of bacteria. We recommend brushing twice a day and flossing at least once.

Rinse with a mouthwash

Rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash is the second step for patients who struggle with bad breath. Antibacterial mouthwashes kill bacteria before they have a chance to accumulate and they simultaneously freshen breath.

Scrape or brush your tongue

In addition to accumulating around the gum line, bacteria can also hide on tongue. Using a tongue scraper–or even your toothbrush–to clean your tongue will do a lot to hold bad breath at bay.

Change your toothbrush

Your toothbrush is another place bacteria can hide. That’s why we recommend switching to a new one about every three months. With a new toothbrush, you can be sure that you’re cleaning your teeth with a bacteria-free brush.

Stay hydrated

What you drink can have a big impact on your oral health. Sugary or acidic drinks can be damaging, while drinking water throughout the day will help you control the buildup of bacteria and wash food particles away.

Do you have questions about what causes bad breath and how it can be treated? Call your local dental office with your questions or to schedule an appointment.

Treat Your Smile This Valentine’s Day!

This February, it may be hard to resist the urge to snack on your favorite candy. You might not want to wreck your New Year’s resolution to eat healthier, but there might be a compromise!

Did you know that chocolate is good for your teeth?

Recent studies by Tulane University have shown that antioxidants, which occur naturally in dark chocolate, promote dental health by fighting cavities in addition to combating plaque. This means that your “guilty pleasure” sweet is actually actively fighting gum disease while you snack. Dark chocolate substances work to harden the enamel of your teeth. It’s even more effective than fluoride! You can strengthen your teeth and oral health as you eat.

And that’s not all!

Whether you’re enjoying a sweet Valentine’s Day treat or indulging in your favorite candy, you’re even fighting heart disease. Because gum disease has been linked to the development of cardiovascular problems, consuming your daily allowance of chocolate can even protect your heart! Keep in mind that the recommended amount of dark chocolate averages one ounce a day, because everything is better in moderation.

Some experts recommend the raw form of dark chocolate for the most health benefits. This type is less processed, and therefore contains more of the beneficial antioxidants! As always, remember to brush and floss properly after you eat. That way, your smile can shine brightly.