woman seeing dentist

4 Tips for How to Prevent Bad Breath

Kristina King Dental Hygiene

Nearly everyone struggles with bad breath at some point in their lives. This is because bad breath has so many causes––it’s impossible to avoid all of them! Seasonal allergies, partaking in a garlicky meal, and even medications can cause halitosis. With so many possible underlying causes, there’s no single solution for preventing bad breath, but these tips will help in most cases.

1. Be Diligent with Your Oral Hygiene

The first line of defense against bad breath is good dental hygiene. This means brushing for two minutes, twice a day. Two minutes can feel longer than you think––if you’re not using a timer while you brush, you should start. Brush the inner, outer, and chewing surfaces of all of your teeth, making sure you spend equal amounts of time on each quadrant of the mouth.

Brushing alone isn’t enough to prevent bad breath. Flossing is just as important. Bits of food and bacteria can accumulate in the spaces between your teeth; this plaque is a breeding ground for tooth decay, but in the short-term, it can cause bad breath.

Don’t forget to brush your tongue either! Use your brush or invest in a tongue scraper.

2. Stop Smoking

There are many reasons to quit smoking. Dental health might not be at the top of your list, but if you’re self-conscious about having bad breath, giving up your smoking habit is a must. In addition the having the smell of cigarette smoke on your breath, smoking is linked to gum disease and gum disease causes halitosis.

3. Stay Hydrated

One of the easiest ways to have fresher breath is to drink more water. When your mouth is dry, your saliva isn’t able to do its job sweeping away bacteria and food particles, which can cause odor.

There are many reasons your mouth might be dry. If you have a cold or allergies, you may breathe through your mouth instead of your nose, drying it out. There are medications that cause dehydration; mouthwashes that contain alcohol can also contribute to dryness. Other times, you just might not drink enough water throughout the day.

Carrying a bottle of water with you wherever you go can help keep you hydrated for fresher breath. If you use a mouthwash, choose one formulated for dry mouth.

4. See Your Dentist Regularly

Tooth decay and gum disease are two common causes of bad breath. In both of these conditions, bacteria colonize in gum tissue and teeth, emitting a foul odor. When we see you in our office regularly for dental exams, we can clean plaque from your teeth before it causes cavities and gum disease––and if we do see any issues, we can nip them in the bud before they become bigger problems.

If you’ve taken all of the above steps and you’re still experiencing bad breath, schedule a visit with your primary care physician. While the origins of bad breath are often found in the mouth, there are other causes that can be addressed by a doctor: diabetes, gastric reflux, postnasal drip, tonsil stones, liver and kidney disease can all lead to halitosis.

Schedule an Appointment Today

Are you worried that you have bad breath? You don’t have to be embarrassed to talk to us about it––we’re here to help! Contact us at 570-287-2500 to schedule an appointment and we’ll work with you to figure out the root of the problem.