If you start to notice that family members, friends, coworkers, and even acquaintances don’t want to get too close to you and back away when you speak, you might start to wonder if your odor offends. It’s not easy to smell your own breath, but you may eventually realize that bad breath is the cause of others keeping you at arm’s length, quite literally.
What can you do to avoid this embarrassing scenario and ensure fresher breath around the clock? Here are a few steps you can take to freshen your breath, as well as some things you should probably avoid.
Revisit Your Oral Hygiene Regimen
Are you the type of person that only brushes once or twice a day and rarely bothers to floss or rinse with mouthwash? This could be the cause of your issues with bad breath.
Brushing, flossing, and rinsing after every meal is more than just a mantra your dentist tries to drum into your head. It’s a recipe for a clean and healthy mouth, one that is free of leftover food particles and bacteria that can cause bad breath, plaque and tartar buildup, and even tooth decay and gum disease over time.
If you’re not very diligent about caring for your oral health, bad breath is likely the least of your potential concerns. However, if this embarrassing condition is what motivates you to follow basic oral hygiene guidelines, you’ll be better off for it.
If you’re already taking good care of your teeth, pick up a tongue scraper at your local pharmacy. This handy tool is a lot better at removing smelly food film and bacteria from your tongue than the average toothbrush.
Watch What You Eat
If your diet is heavy in fragrant foods like fish, garlic, or onions, for example, what you eat could contribute in a major way to your bad breath. Unfortunately, brushing, flossing, and rinsing alone may not be enough to alleviate these strong odors – you might simply have to cut back on consumption.
Drinking plenty of water to flush your mouth (and your body) could also help, as could chewing on mint leaves or cloves to freshen breath and kill bacteria. You should probably avoid sugary mints or chewing gum that could do more harm than good.
Consult with Your Dentist
There are all kinds of things that could cause bad breath, and if you suffer from ongoing issues, your dentist may be able to help you pinpoint the culprit. If your oral hygiene and diet aren’t to blame, your bad breath could be attributed to injury, illness, or even medications you take, or dry mouth could be the cause.
Regardless, your dentist should be able to diagnose your problem through examination and pointed questions, after which you can begin an appropriate course of treatment.