Halitosis affects millions of Americans every year, if not every day. Whether it’s from drinking coffee or having something with garlic, most people have suffered from bad breath before. It is in fact the third most common reason for seeking dental care in the US. People usually pop in a mint or piece of gum, which can mask the smell, but neglect to eliminate the root causes of halitosis, namely food and bacteria.
Along with brushing twice a day to remove bacteria, the American Dental Association recommends brushing the tongue as well. Studies have shown that doing so can help reduce bad breath odors by as much as 70 percent. Use of interdental cleaners such as flossing once a day also helps to remove plaque and odor causing foods that get caught in between teeth.
An antimicrobial mouthwash can further improve one’s breath by controlling plaque and eliminating bacteria in one’s mouth, particularly the tongue. Rinses that use zinc ion technology are preferable, since they offer a more long-term solution to bad breath by removing plaque and odors for a longer period of time. Furthermore, alcohol-free mouthwash is more favorable than those with alcohol. Not only do you avoid the burn, but the alcohol suppresses saliva, causing dry mouth and ironically, bad breath.
Refraining from or decreasing use of certain substances can also help immensely in improving one’s breath. Acidic foods and drink such as garlic, onions, or coffee cause temporary bad breath. Use of tobacco (i.e. chewing or smoking), and alcohol also enable halitosis.
If you’re concerned about bad breath, or any other dental hygiene issues, contact Greenspoint Dental today to speak to one of our dentists and set up an appointment.