9 ways to have fresh breath

by Tina Sendin March 21, 2019 4 min read

9 ways to have fresh breath

No one’s spared from it.

Most, if not all, of us have had stinky breath at one point or another (like the first time you open your mouth, yawning in the morning).

Usually, there’s no cause for worry. Bad breath happens when there’s a buildup of bacteria in the mouth.

Yes, bacteria is usually the innocuous suspect for the noxious odors coming from the mouth. [1] 

 

In fact, 80% of the incidence of halitosis – another term for bad breath – is due to the oral source. Aside from bacteria, cavities and gum diseases are also a cause for it. Add to that food particles that are stuck in the oral cavity, i.e. tonsils, and dentures. [2]

Some illnesses and medical conditions also lead to bad breath. Diabetes, liver disease, chronic bronchitis, and acid reflux can make breath smell nasty.

Luckily, there are several ways to fix it… whether you’re on-the-go or in need of long-term solutions.

If you’re on a date or on the way to an important business meeting, you can stop worrying about bad breath. Here are some quick fixes you can resort to:

 

Grab a breath mint or sugar-free gum.

Popping a breath mint is one of the most common ways to get instant fresh breath.

Aside from the minty flavor, breath mints address bad breath by getting rid of dry mouth or poor salivary flow, which is one of the causes for halitosis. [3]

The American Dental Association (ADA) suggests having a piece of gum or two to fix the bacterial imbalance and promote saliva production in the mouth.

If you were to pick a mint product, get one with xylitol, which prevents tooth decay, dry mouth, and bacteria increase. [4]

Bonus: if you’re a coffee junkie and in need of a breath freshener at the same time, then a caffeine mint like VITER Energy Mints may just satiate both needs for you.

 

Chew on fresh mint leaves or parsley.

Find fresh mint leaves or parsley. If you find any of the two in your dinner plate, consider yourself lucky.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, parsley and mint can get rid of bad breath. [5] Parsley contains chlorophyll, which can neutralize sulfur compounds, which cause the rotten-egg smell in your breath while mint gives that instant freshness. [6]

So if you happen to forget your breath mints or gum, just look for any of these natural remedies and chew it for fresh breath.

 

Grab some fresh, crunchy snacks. 

As mentioned earlier, food stuck between your pearly whites can cause bad breath. Snacking on apples, celeries, carrots, pears, and other textured fruits can serve as your natural toothbrush. They help remove whatever’s stuck in your teeth – food and bacteria alike.

 

Clean your mouth with – wait for it - mouthwash.

You may not be carrying a bottle of this in your purse on your way to a date. But mouthwash is a great way to achieve fresh breath before heading out.

Keep a bottle of mouthwash at work or in your place. You’ll feel more confident to go into a meeting or go on a night-out free of (bad breath) worries.

And make sure it’s alcohol-free. Alcohol can dry your mouth and promote bacterial growth. If possible, pick a brand with zinc compound in it too. Zinc gets rid of sulfur compound, which is a pesky reason for bad breath. [6]

If you’re in the mood for some DIY, you can create your personal alcohol-free concoction by mixing a tablespoon of baking soda with a cup of warm water. Add in a few drops of peppermint essential oil.

 

Clean your tongue.

Have this ready in your vanity kit or office drawer.

Tongue scraper

A tongue cleaner or scraper helps kill bacteria that may be residing on your taste buds and unleashing a waste byproduct, aka that off-putting odor. You can also use a clean spoon (hopefully your own personal one!) to scrape your tongue as part of your dental ritual.

 

 

Maintaining fresh breath: effective habits you can start (or keep) now 

The good news is that with lifestyle changes and natural remedies, you can get rid of bad breath naturally.

 

Watch what you eat.

If you haven’t started yet, eat more greens and veggies. This may not be appealing to some people but hear us out.

Eating more broccoli, carrots, sweet potatoes, fresh fruits, and less of the fatty junk can cultivate healthy acid balance in your mouth and drive the stench-producing bacteria away.

Try to steer clear of dairy products like milk and cheese to cultivate a healthy alkaline environment in your mouth and digestive system.

 

Stick to your dental ritual, religiously.

Brush and floss every day. Doing these helps avoid plaque and bacteria buildup.

ADA recommends brushing your teeth 2x a day – ideally once in the morning and once before bedtime - for at least two minutes (some say you should sing happy birthday in your head while doing it).

Don’t forget to floss right before you hit the sack every single night.

And give some love to your dentist every 6 months by paying them a visit, either to get an oral exam or have a dental cleaning.

 

 

Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate.

The health benefits of drinking eight glasses a day extend to preventing halitosis too! Dehydration dries up your mouth and cuts down saliva production. This leads to bacteria accumulating in the mouth, aka gross stench.

So keep downing that glass of water or other non-sugary liquids to keep that nasty bacteria away!

 

It’s time to quit smoking.

Cigarettes not only lead to dry mouth. Thanks to nicotine, they also compress your blood vessels, which hamper healthy saliva production and lead to bad breath.  So here’s another reason to quit, stat!

 

Tina Sendin
Tina Sendin


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