There are many reasons to cover up bad breath (halitosis), but if you’re tired of quick fixes and want to get rid of halitosis once and for all, take these instructions to heart-or should we say mouth?
- Don’t slack off about brushing and flossing your teeth. Do so after every meal. Carry a travel toothbrush and toothpaste to work if you have to so you can brush your teeth after lunch. Getting dental check-ups twice a year is also important. Sometimes, bad breath is an indicator of a serious problem like unclean dentures, an abscess, gum disease or a tooth that is decaying.
- The coating that normally forms on the tongue can host foul-smelling bacteria. To get rid of them, gently brush your tongue with your toothbrush. If it’s too big to comfortably reach the back of your tongue, try a tongue scraper. “They’re designed specifically to apply even pressure across the surface of the tongue area, removing bacteria, food debris, and dead cells that brushing alone can’t remove,” says hygienist Pamela L. Quinones, past president of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association.
- The best time to use mouthwash is just before bedtime. There are many different types of mouthwash. Most are alcohol-based. Alcohol can dry out or irritate your mouth, so if you have problems, switch to an alcohol-free brand that contains chlorhexidine or hydrogen peroxide.
- Don’t drink too much coffee. It may be tasty, but coffee is a tough smell to get off the back of your tongue. Consider switching to an herbal or green tea, Frangella says.
- Onions and garlic are the prime offenders. Unfortunately, brushing after you eat them doesn’t help. “The volatile substances they contain make their way into your bloodstream and travel to your lungs, where you breathe them out,” says dentist Richard Price, a spokesman for the American Dental Association. The only way to avoid the problem is to avoid eating them, especially before social or work occasions when you’re mindful of your breath.
- Another way to use what Mother Nature provides to get rid of bad breath is to use herbs. Chewing raw parsley naturally cleans the palates and gets rid of odors. Cardamom is also effective in fighting bad breath when used to cook meals. Sipping on black and green tea as well as herbal tea like peppermint tea also works.\
- Eating a diet low in carbohydrates to lose or maintain weight can also result in bad breath. Such a diet makes the body release ketones. These are foul-smelling chemicals that are released from the body through the breath.