What Can You Do to Prevent Bad Breath (Halitosis)?
Prevention is always better than cure. Bad breath (halitosis) can be prevented by developing right habits.
Following are some tips on how to prevent the bad breath.
Practice good oral health
Oral health can be maintained by developing some habits that are given below:
- Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride removes food debris and plaque.
- Clean the tongue using a brush or scraper.
- Replace the toothbrush every 2 to 3 months and after an illness.
- Regularly floss the teeth because it removes food particles and plaque between teeth.
- Rinse the mouth after brushing with a mouthwash. Antibacterial mouthwash is recommended.
- Remove the dentures at night and clean thoroughly.
- Avoid eating sweets before going to bed.
Drink plenty of water
Saliva is the body’s natural defense mechanism which works against the stinky acid producing bacteria. The balance of saliva should be maintained to fight against the bacteria. Less saliva causes dry mouth.
Dry mouth can cause bad breath and can make it worse. Drinking water keeps the body hydrated. It also helps to fight the bad breath in following ways:
- Water keeps the mouth moist.
- Water is odorless and helps to flush out the food that bacteria love.
- It also stimulates the saliva-producing glands.
- Water can help remove food particles from your mouth.
Saliva production can also be stimulated by chewing gum (sugarless) or sucking a candy
Eat fiber-rich food
Eating fiber-rich foods is the best way to prevent halitosis. Always eat fresh fiber food. They improve digestion and help the body to eliminate toxins. Avoid eating heavily processed foods like cookies, cakes, sweets and ice creams. These foods contain refined carbohydrates.
An apple a day
Apple contains an enzyme that kills the bad breath bacteria. It also has high fiber content which helps in cleaning the mouth.
Avoid coffee and acidic drinks
The caffeine in coffee can dry out mouth as it slows down the saliva production. It also provides an environment in the mouth for bacteria growth.
Acidic drinks can hurt enamel on the teeth. Avoid drinking them as much as possible.
Drink green and black teas
Black tea contains polyphenols. It helps reduce oral bacteria. It also helps in eliminating sulfur compounds. Green tea contains antioxidants that help fight bacteria in the mouth. It can also neutralize garlic smell from the mouth.
Avoid drying medication
Some drugs inhibit saliva flow and may cause chronic dry mouth. Such medications include antidepressants and pain relievers. Try avoiding such medications unless medically necessary.
Avoid smoking and drinking
Smokers are at high risk of developing periodontal disease and chronic dry mouth. Alcohol consumption contributes to dry mouth. These habits should be avoided to prevent bad breath.
Eat foods high in Vitamin D
Vitamin D helps to inhibit the growth of bacteria in the mouth. Sunlight is the main source of vitamin D. It can also be consumed in the form of fortified foods and beverages. The flesh of fatty fish such as salmon and fish liver oils are the best sources of vitamin D. Beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks are other sources that contain small amounts of vitamin D.
Use of an oral probiotic
Probiotics are healthy bacteria. They are mostly known for their impact on digestive system but they also help to keep the mouth healthy. Oral probiotics help in the following way:
- balance the oral cavity
- prevent an overgrowth of the odor-causing bacteria and fight bad breath
- prevent plaque
- prevent oral cancers
- decrease inflammation from gum diseases
Visit the dentist regularly
Visiting the dentist on a regular basis is important for maintaining the oral health. A dentist checks the oral environment and performs a thorough cleaning of teeth, gums and mouth. He also notices if the bad breath is caused by something else other than food, drink or poor oral hygiene.
Breathe through the nose not through mouth
Snoring makes a person breathe through the mouth which causes dry mouth. If an individual finds any such problem he should immediately address it and meet the dentist. Also during exercise, try to breathe through the nose.