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Fresh Breath: How Do I Get It?

Keeping your breath fresh and clean at all times should be a priority, as bad breath can be a warning sign of gum disease. Medically referred to as halitosis, bad breath can also be a result of poor habits that start at an early age. Family dental care may have been put on the back burner for many during quarantine, but the facts remain the same: fresh breath is a matter of great importance. Even with a mandatory mask mandate, it’s important to keep your breath fresh to avoid any associated problems in you or your child’s future. With this in mind, we’ve assembled three of our top tips for keeping your breath fresh. Some of these tips may seem obvious, but there’s a good reason why they are so critical to follow: they work!
  1. Ensure your dental routine is up to par

Your morning and nighttime dental routine is one of the most important factors when striving to keep your breath fresh. An average daily dental routine involves brushing your teeth at least two times per day and flossing at least once. Many people skip flossing daily, but trapped food that is left behind over time can trigger plaque and bacteria buildup, inducing bad breath. Rinse your mouth after brushing and flossing your teeth as well, whether it’s with a dentist-recommended mouthwash or just plain water. Both of these options are great for removing food particles that may get stuck to your teeth. Furthermore, if you are adamant about avoiding bad breath, scrape your tongue with your toothbrush, as this can disband any additional bacteria buildup. Handy-dandy tongue scrapers can also be purchased at most major retailers or online if your toothbrush isn’t getting the job done. 
Within pediatric dentistry, it is stressed that children must follow a proper dental routine. Whether your child sees a children’s dentist or a family dentist, they should receive proper oral hygiene tips for making sure that they’re brushing and flossing correctly. A consistent dental routine is a great barrier against bad breath, so be sure to monitor younger children in case they’re having difficulty keeping up with a daily dental routine.
  1. Avoid foods that cause bad breath

Let’s be real: certain foods are not your friend when it comes to fresh breath. To no one’s surprise, garlic is one of the worst foods for your breath, as are onions. But have you ever wondered why these foods are so detrimental for your breath? The byproducts of garlic and onions are absorbed into the bloodstream upon digestion and carried to the lungs where they can transmit the odor more openly. These foods can also emit a bitter scent from your pores, making it an all-around bad idea. Of course, no children’s dentist will forbid your child from enjoying certain foods and flavors. You can still have these foods in small quantities, but be sure to protect your breath by brushing and flossing. Other foods including dairy, tuna, and coffee may not be in your best interest when keeping your breath in tip-top shape either. On the flip side, some foods are warriors in fighting against bad breath. Fruits such as apples can help remove plaque from your teeth, and one study found that apples help neutralize bad breath odors caused by raw garlic. Parsley and basil both contain polyphenols, which are natural chemicals that can halt bacterial growth which can cause halitosis. Even drinking green tea can help fight against bad-breath causing bacteria due to its abundance of catechin, a natural antioxidant. 
  1. Chew gum after meals

Chewing gum is not a cure for bad breath, but it can certainly help. It’s also a lot better to choose gum over mints because mints are usually high in sugar, which in turn feeds oral bacteria that cause bad breath. Gum is a mighty tool in producing saliva, which helps to reduce or eliminate bad breath. Keep in mind that when saliva decreases, bacteria can grow. Also, the mechanical action of chewing gum helps to find any trapped food or leftover food particles in the mouth. Not only is chewing gum great for fresh breath, but research has shown that chewing gum 20 minutes after a meal can help prevent tooth decay and neutralize any leftover acids. It’s basically a win-win situation! If you choose to pick up a pack of gum, then be sure it’s sugar-free and contains the ingredient Xylitol. Xylitol is a healthy alternative to sugar and it can help inhibit cavity-causing bacteria. Also, strive to look for a pack that carries the ADA seal, as this means it is approved as safe and effective by the American Dental Association. 
If you’ve been fighting the good fight against bad breath, then be sure to try these remedies! First, ensure both your morning and nighttime dental routine are up to dental standards, including brushing, flossing, rinsing, and scraping your tongue. Try to avoid foods that cause bad breath such as onions and garlic, and go for foods such as apples instead. Finally, break out the sugar-free, ADA approved gum after your next meal and you’ll be good to go! If none of these remedies seem to help, then give us a call so that we can find and treat the source of the problem!
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