Embarrassed about your breath or know someone who should be embarrassed about theirs?
Ever got close to someone…and then they open their mouth?
Bad breath can be caused by many things: food and bacteria left between your teeth, tooth decay, gum disease, infection, smoking, diet and even your breathing.
You don’t need to put up with it!
Frequently Asked Questions
Bad breath, medically called halitosis, can result from poor dental health habits and may be a sign of other health problems. Bad breath can also be made worse by the types of foods you eat and other unhealthy lifestyle habits.
- Brush your teeth after you eat. Keep a toothbrush at work to use after eating. Brush using a fluoride-containing toothpaste at least twice a day, especially after meals. Toothpaste with antibacterial properties has been shown to reduce bad breath odours.
- Floss at least once a day. Proper flossing removes food particles and plaque from between your teeth, helping to control bad breath.
- Brush your tongue. Your tongue harbours bacteria, so carefully brushing it may reduce odours. People who have a coated tongue from a significant overgrowth of bacteria (from smoking or dry mouth, for example) may benefit from using a tongue scraper. Or use a toothbrush that has a built-in tongue cleaner.
- Clean dentures or dental appliances. If you wear a bridge or a denture, clean it thoroughly at least once a day or as directed by your dentist. If you have a dental retainer or mouth guard, clean it each time before you put it in your mouth. Your dentist can recommend the best cleaning product.
- Avoid dry mouth. To keep your mouth moist, avoid tobacco and drink plenty of water — not coffee, soft drinks or alcohol, which can lead to a drier mouth. Chew gum or suck on candy (preferably sugarless) to stimulate saliva. For chronic dry mouth, your dentist or physician may prescribe an artificial saliva preparation or an oral medication that stimulates the flow of saliva.
- Adjust your diet. Avoid foods such as onions and garlic that can cause bad breath. Eating a lot of sugary foods is also linked with bad breath.
- Regularly get a new toothbrush. Change your toothbrush when it becomes frayed, about every three to four months, and choose a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Schedule regular dental check ups. See your dentist on a regular basis — generally twice a year — to have your teeth or dentures examined and cleaned.
There are many causes of halitosis. Most of the time, it is caused by small, decaying food particles lodged in crevices in the mouth. These crevices can be between teeth, in orthodontic devices or in dentures.
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