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Seven Ways to Prevent Bad Breath

Seven Ways to Prevent Bad Breath
Submitted by Christine Stone, RN
LifeQuest Clinical Liaison

The causes of bad breath were detailed in a previous blog article. Here are a few tips to prevent bad breath recommended by the American Dental Association.

1. Brush and Floss – Meticulous care of your teeth is essential to control bacteria often associated with bad breath.
2. Keep Your Tongue Clean – Brush the tongue with your toothbrush or use a special tongue scraper to remove bacterial film. Don’t neglect this important step in your oral hygiene.
3. Mouthwash – Can provide a temporary fix to bad breath, but this is a little like “sweeping dirt under the rug.” Mouthwash is never a substitute for good oral hygiene. Mouthwash/mouth rinse can also contribute to dry mouth.
4. Clean Your Dentures – If you are a denture wearer, ALWAYS remove your dentures at night and clean/brush the inside of your mouth as well as the dentures themselves. It’s also recommended that you remove the dentures after each meal to remove odor-causing food debris.
5. Monitor Your Saliva – Saliva has antibacterial properties to help prevent tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath. If you suffer from dry mouth, try chewing sugar-free Xylitol gum. The very act of chewing helps stimulate salivary flow.
6. Quit Smoking – Smoking (and chewing tobacco) is one of the worst breath offenders. Giving up tobacco will improve your breath and your overall health.
7. Get Regular Dental Check Ups – Having your teeth professionally cleaned and your mouth examined by a dentist is the best way to rule out more serious causes of bad breath. Identifying the exact cause is key in selecting the right solution.