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5 Things: To Fight Bad Breath

Everyone suffers from the occasional bad breath, but it can be an embarrassing problem if you're dealing with it all the time. Of course brushing your teeth, using mouthwash and not smoking are well-known ways to prevent bad breath, but here are a few others.

  • Every time you eat, brush and floss your teeth. Food particles that remain in your mouth and in between your teeth collect bacteria. The bacteria emits hydrogen sulfur vapors. So keep a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss in your purse or desk so you can clean your mouth after your morning coffee, your lunch, and your mid-afternoon snack. Not only will brushing and flossing keep your mouth clean, but I know when my breath is minty fresh, I'm less likely to snack between meals.
  • Certain foods such as onions, garlic, and alcohol can cause bad breath. After they are consumed, they are absorbed into your bloodstream, carried to your lungs and given off in your breath until the food is eliminated from your body. Avoiding these foods can prevent this stinky problem.
  • If you have allergies, sinus infections, or post nasal drip, the nasal discharge in the back of your throat can cause bad breath (gross I know, but true). Try to figure out the cause of your symptoms. If you are allergic to something, like cats, try to avoid your triggers. Using a neti pot can also help to flush allergens out of your nose. If you have a sinus infection, be sure to take antibiotics to get rid of the infection.

Want to hear what else may help bad breath? Then

  • Dry mouth can also contribute to bad breath since saliva helps to cleanse and moisten your mouth. A dry mouth allows dead cells and bacteria to accumulate on your gums, tongue and teeth. When these cells decompose, they cause that foul smell. (Morning breath is caused by a dry mouth). It's important to note that certain medications such as decongestants and allergy meds can cause dry mouth too. If you have issues with dry mouth, try to drink more water. If you are taking allergy meds, and your bad breath annoys you more than your sneezing and runny nose, then you may want to consider ditching your meds.
  • Get yourself a tongue scraper. Use it twice a day to clean your tongue and get rid of excess bacteria.


justanerd1975 justanerd1975 9 years
I use a tongue scraper everyday and it makes a big difference. It gets a lot more plaque off the tongue than a toothbrush does. But hands down I'd say the biggest difference is made by flossing everyday!
Vannuccia Vannuccia 10 years
MistyEdge, Have you ever actually visited England- or ever been outside of North America for that matter? Stereotypes are unhelpful and unnecessary. For example, just because I've met some obnoxious, unintelligent Americans over the years, I would never go on to say that ALL Americans are like that- because I know that's untrue. I always notice people's teeth straight away, and I have to say, I've never noticed any of English friends as having bad teeth and personal hygiene...
MistyEdge MistyEdge 10 years
Vannuccia, and your comment wasn't rude right? maybe you don't know but English people are known for bad teeth, it could be sterotypical, but I've heard it a lot. Austin Powers even made fun of it in his movies, we all know Prince Charles' teeth are terrible and the Bee's Gee's, 2 of them had horrible teeth, and these are English people with money, I would hate to see what the poor ones look like. I worked with alady from London and her breath was horrible, smelled rotten. It wasn't because she didn't have money either, she just didn't care to much to take care of her teeth. Everyone in our office hated to have to talk up close to her because it was so bad. So, about you thinking that Ashley's comment is untrue, I think it's more true than you think.
Vannuccia Vannuccia 10 years
AshleyDaigh- That is such a rude, ignorant comment to make (not to mention untrue).
AshleyDaigh AshleyDaigh 10 years
I think people from London are scared to brush their teeth or go to a dentist..thats why they are known for some of the worst breath and messed up teeth in the world.
AshleyDaigh AshleyDaigh 10 years
ALLYTTA PLEASE...enamel on your teeth is the strongest substance in your body and brushing them 7 times a day will NOT hurt them. I think you're talking about a report that said "forceful" brushing with a hard bristle tooth brush may damage your gums if preformed father is a dentist and he brushes his teeth all the time and he has GREAT TEETH. Also, if your gums bleed or are painful after brushing with a soft toothbrush, then you may have gingivitis. Healthy gums would not hurt like that after simply brushing your teeth. PS..there is a study that says the MINIMUM is twice a day..NOT the maximum dear.
Allytta Allytta 10 years
are you actually promoting brushing teeth 5-7 times a day? it's very damaging for the teeth and all studies show, that it should not be done more then 2 times a day. if you do not belive me try it and you'll see the next day it will be so painful for your gums that you won't be able to brush that day at all. 5 times, jezz... that's a lot!
Tiger_Lily Tiger_Lily 10 years
um, but are you sure that brushing teeth after every meal is not harming them? I think I heard that brushing to much causes damage to the enamel of the tooth.. I hope it's just a myth coz I sure love brushing my teeth frequently
Spectra Spectra 10 years
I get bad breath when I get sick. I swear it's the nasal discharge that causes it. I usually brush my teeth like crazy when I'm sick but I'm not sure it really helps or anything. Oh, and I have a tongue scraper too. I love it! It really does get a lot of crap off your tongue if you use it right.
Vannuccia Vannuccia 10 years
I used to just brush my tongue, but using a tongue scraper really makes a difference!
sweettooth27 sweettooth27 10 years
Yeah I use a tongue scraper too, and it's not weird at all. It works pretty well for me. This is all great practical advice. Check out this blog, I also refer to it a lot for my Bad Breath Questions -
Beaner Beaner 10 years
I've used a tongue scraper. They're awesome. Not weird at all. I got mine at my health food store.
dirrtyhoney dirrtyhoney 10 years
:) nice
PJ-PJ-PJ PJ-PJ-PJ 10 years
All good advice. I'm curious, though. Who has ever used a tongue scraper & does it work? I've thought about buying one of those scrapers, but I'm just not sure. I always just brush my tongue, after I brush my teeth. Doesn't that work just as well?
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