Stop Bad Breath
Brushing and Flossing Tips For Bad Breath
Brushing and flossing may not eliminate bad
breath but it can certainly help. The vast majority of bad
breath (halitosis) problems are generated in the mouth by poor
won't brushing and flossing eliminate bad breath? Here
are some of the reasons:
- Your diet, i.e., what you eat or, in the case of low-carb
diets, what you don't eat, is a large factor in whether you
have good or bad breath.
- Several medical conditions may create imbalances in your body
chemistry that create bad breath.
- Some medications that are taken to control medical conditions
may cause bad breath as an unintended bi-product of controlling
or curing the medical condition.
- Many people brush and floss regularly but they don't do it
is the first step. Use dental floss to clean your
teeth in the areas that your toothbrush won't reach. Flossing
first and then brushing remove the sticky substance that collects
between your teeth and eventually hardens into plaque. If you
don't floss, that plaque will eventually cause tooth decay
and possibly gum disease.
There is an unbelievably wide variety of dental floss available.
Floss can range from unwaxed to waxed with mint, peppermint
or no flavoring, from super thin, super strong filament style
to tape style and there are dental floss holders to make it
a less awkward procedure. Generally, a waxed floss is easier
to use and a flavored wax even leaves a pleasant taste. Try
the floss that your dentist gives you after a cleaning. Chances
are that is a good brand and will work well.
teeth properly is the next step: Many (or even most)
people tend to brush too quickly. Lives are so full and so
busy and can be so exciting that a mundane task like brushing
your teeth seems, at times, like a waste of time so the attitude
is: "let's get this over with!" Brushing fast and doing a haphazard
job of it leaves many tooth surfaces and crevices covered with
bacteria and doesn't remove plaque.
To brush properly you should keep your toothbrush at an approximate
45-degree angle, brushing up from the bottom (from the lower
gums toward the top of the lower teeth) and down from the top
(again including brushing the gums.) This moves the plaque
build-up that you flossed loose, away from the gums where it
can and does do most damage.
After brushing the outside of each tooth in the manner described
above, repeat the procedure for all of the inside surfaces.
Finally, brush the chewing surfaces of your teeth with a horizontal
If brushing your teeth did not take at least 2 minutes, you're
doing it too fast.
or scrape your tongue next: Most people either overlook
cleaning their tongue or they just don't know they are supposed
to do it twice a day. Scraping or brushing the bacteria and
residue from food and drink off your tongue is one of the most
effective oral hygiene treatments for halitosis. When cleaning
your tongue, clean as far back on your tongue as possible.
You may experience a gag reflex but that's normal and you will,
over time. If this is the case, do not give up. Keep trying.
Use your toothbrush or a specialized tongue brush or a specialized
tongue scraper (both specialized tools are available at most
drug stores) to brush your tongue from back to front. Use enough
pressure to clean it thoroughly but don't overdo it and irritate
You might be wondering what you are accomplishing by brushing
or scraping your tongue. Brushing or scraping the tongue removes
the soft plaque, bacteria and tiny food particles that build
up on the top surface of the tongue. By removing the soft plaque
from the top surface of the tongue, you are removing most of
the bacteria and other debris that are the primary sources
of halitosis, tartar and tooth decay.
rinse: Most stores carry an overwhelming variety of mouthwashes
but even the best mouthwash will only provide a temporary "mask"
for your bad breath by removing some of the immediate causes,
but they really can't be said to "treat" bad breath. The only
effective 'treatment' for bad breath is a combination of good,
consistent oral hygiene and a balanced diet.
The vast majority of commercial mouthwashes will temporarily
cover up your bad breath, do nothing to treat it and many of
them, in fact . . . mouthwashes that contain alcohol, will
actually contribute to your bad breath problem. The net effect
of an alcohol-based mouthwash on your breath is negative --
the alcohol is drying out your mouth and creating a great breeding
ground for the kind of bacteria that contributes most to bad
Next time you go to buy mouthwash, check the labels on the
mouthwashes and look for "chlorine dioxide" or "stabilized
chlorine dioxide." Mouthwashes with chlorine dioxide or stabilized
chlorine dioxide actually attack that sulfurous, 'rotten egg'
smell that oral bacteria leaves behind and won't dry out your
Other things that support good oral health. Here are some
other things you can do that will help to keep your breath
lots of water to keep your mouth moist. A dry mouth
contributes to bad breath. Swish some water around in your
mouth after you eat or snack; this will not only keep you mouth
moist it will wash away any left-over food particles that may
contribute to bad breath. The rule is drink six to eight, eight
ounce glasses of water every day.
Chew sugarless gum. Be sure its sugarless -- some say they
are but they're not.
Suck on sugarless mints. Some mints contain ingredients that
Chew on some fresh parsley.
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