Easy ways to avoid bad breath throughout the day

Easy ways to avoid bad breath throughout the day

One in four of us suffer from halitosis, but you can save yourself embarrassment with this advice.

One in four of us suffer from halitosis, but you can save yourself embarrassment with this advice.

Nobody wants whiffy breath, but the sheer volume of food and drink travelling through our mouths daily means that a quarter of us suffer from it.

Nailing your oral hygiene is essential, because bad oral hygiene allows bacteria to build up and produce unpleasant smelling gasses.

But there are plenty of other avoidable causes and simple solutions, so read on for guaranteed fresh-breath confidence.

Perfect your dental routine

The leading cause of bad breath is bacteria on and between your teeth, tongue and gums, so sort that first.

Brush your teeth and gums last thing at night and first thing in the morning for two full minutes (all Oral-B electric toothbrushes have timers so you don’t have to worry about clocking this yourself). And always use a fluoride toothpaste – such as Oral-B Pro-Expert Deep Clean Toothpaste – for best results.

Brushing alone only cleans up to about 60% of the surface of your teeth, though, so floss between your teeth or use interdental brushes daily to make sure you remove any food that could get stuck and cause problems.

Then finish off with a rinse: recent research proved that mouthwash helps to reduce levels of bacteria and chemicals that cause a nasty whiff. Mouth rinses kill bacteria thanks to antibacterial agents like chlorhexidine and cetylpyridinium found in Oral-B Pro-Expert Deep Clean Mouthwash.

A tongue scraper is a smart idea as well, because another common reason for bad breath is a ‘nasal drip’, which coats the back of your tongue with bacteria. Tongue scrapers remove these nasties.

Have a garlic chaser

We all know that garlic can cause nasty breath, but we also know it tastes delicious! So rather than opting for bland Bolognaise, munch an apple or some lettuce immediately after eating.

A US study that gave people garlic cloves to chew for 25 seconds, then gave them an apple or lettuce immediately after, found that they decreased the concentration of the chemicals responsible for garlic breath by 50%.

Apparently these foods beat garlic breath in two ways; first, enzymes help to destroy the odours, then phenolic compounds destroy the chemicals that create the bad breath.

No need to skip a goodnight kiss after an Italian dinner date, then – just order a side salad!

Avoid dry mouth

Saliva is a natural antiseptic that breaks down food particles and stops bacteria growing in the mouth – making dehydration another major bad breath culprit.

To produce enough saliva, you need to stay hydrated through the day, so sip water and herbal teas and avoid alcohol.

Another dry mouth cause is breathing through your mouth instead of your nose. It’s also worth knowing that certain medicines can limit how much saliva you produce, such as nitrates used to treat angina and some tranquillisers.

You can try chewing sugar-free gum to help keep your mouth from getting dry. A US study found that chewing a sugar-free cinnamon-flavoured gum for 20 minutes reduced bad-breath-causing bacteria in the mouth thanks to natural antibacterial agents.

Finally, another way to build up saliva naturally is to chomp on water-rich crudités like carrot or celery sticks – they can help scrape out plaque build-up and boost saliva production.

Have a healthy lifestyle

One of the causes of bad breath is smoking, which also stains teeth, irritates gums and causes loss of taste, so kicking the habit is important. Drinking too much alcohol can worsen stale breath, too.

Researchers from Tel Aviv University also found that being too heavy causes problems; the more overweight you are, the more likely your breath is to smell unpleasant. They aren’t certain as to why, but the connection could be due to eating a diet that promotes dry mouth (lots of salty food, say).

But while being overweight is bad, trying to slim down by crash dieting, fasting or eating a restrictive low-carbohydrate diet is no good either. Extreme diets cause your body to break down fat, which produces chemicals called ketones that can be smelt on your breath. The key, then, is to stay at a healthy weight by eating a balanced diet.

Treat your gut to yoghurt

Bad breath can be linked to how healthy your gut is, because an imbalance between good and bad bacteria can cause an unpleasant smell.

A Japanese study found that eating traditional yoghurt – a food that contains probiotics – reduced the harmful bacteria that causes bad breath. Levels of these unpleasant volatile sulfide compounds decreased after six weeks in 80% of the volunteers who tucked into yoghurt.

They had healthier mouths and significantly lower levels of plaque, too. Impressive!

Do you find Oral-B helps you to combat bad breath? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below or on our tried and tested page.

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