Pretty much everyone suffers from bad breath (or halitosis) from time to time, usually as a result of the foods we eat and sometimes as a result of poor brushing and flossing habits. In those cases, a thorough cleansing can eradicate the problem and leave our breath fresh and clean-smelling. But for about 25 percent of us, bad breath is a chronic condition, and that means it can’t be completely eliminated with a simple brushing and flossing.
Chronic bad breath can have far-reaching consequences for your life. At work, your colleagues and coworkers will be sure to notice - and they may even comment on it without your knowledge. After all, no one wants to work in close quarters with someone whose breath smells bad.
And of course, bad breath can also take a serious toll on your personal relationships, interfering with intimacy and even making it difficult to date and form a long-lasting relationship. In fact, at least one study found bad breath to be the leading reason why people would not ask someone out on a second date. With statistics like that, it’s no wonder people with bad breath find they have a low level of confidence when it comes to social and intimate relationships.
5 Steps to Get Rid of Bad Breath
It’s no fun having bad breath, but fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to banish halitosis and enjoy fresh breath all day long. Here's what to do:
1. Improve your brushing and flossing habits. First, make sure you brush and floss after every meal. Second, brush for two minutes (use your cellphone stopwatch function) and make sure to hit every tooth, front and back. Gently brush your tongue, a common harbor for stinky bacteria.
2. Drink water. You know how your mouth gets dry when you’re in a stressful situation - like a first or second date? Well, guess what. Dry mouth is a common cause of bad breath. Drinking lots of water during the day is a good way to make sure your body is hydrated so you produce lots of saliva to help remove odor-causing bacteria.
3. Eat proactively. If you know you’re going on a date, skip the onions and garlic at lunch (your coworkers will also thank you). If you’ve already indulged, brushing can help, but so can snacking on an apple (sometimes referred to as nature’s toothbrush) or cheese, which can help combat some of the enzymes that cause bad breath.
4. Watch your dieting. High-protein, low-carb diets may be the craze right now, but eating too few carbohydrates can actually contribute to bad breath by forcing your body to burn fats instead of sugars. Those leftover sugars are a prime food source for odor- and disease-causing bacteria in your mouth.
5. Schedule a dental checkup. Sometimes, bad breath is caused by an underlying disease like gum disease or even oral cancer. Having routine exams helps identify these issues in their early stages. Plus, regular cleanings eliminate tartar and plaque that harbor stinky bacteria, and your dentist can also provide you with tips to keep bad breath at bay.
Learn more about controlling your chronic bad breath.
If you have chronic bad breath, scheduling a checkup and cleaning should be at the top of your to-do list. Not only can it improve your breath and your confidence, but it also helps ensure any serious underlying conditions are caught - and treated - as early as possible.
Make better oral health a priority. Give Princeton Center for Dental Aesthetics & Implants a call at 609-924-1414 and schedule your exam and checkup today.