Treatment Options for Bad Breath (Halitosis)
Halitosis is best treated by observing good dental hygiene. Your daily routine should include:
- Brushing your teeth and gums
- Cleaning your tongue
Consider buying an electric brush to clean more conveniently and effectively.
Cleaning Your Teeth
Brush your teeth twice daily using a fluoride toothpaste. For best results, you should:
- Floss in-between your teeth to remove trapped food which could cause tooth decay. Brushing can only clean 60% of the tooth’s surface.
- Use a small or medium-sized toothbrush with soft, multi-tufted synthetic bristles.
- Change your toothbrush every three to four months.
- Brush your teeth for at least 2 minutes. Keep a brush at work or school so you can brush after lunch.
- Softly brush your tongue with a tongue scraper or a separate toothbrush. Some toothbrushes have a tongue cleaner at the back of the brush head.
- Wait for 30 minutes before brushing your teeth after consuming acidic fruit and beverages such as oranges and fruit juice, to protect your teeth against abrasion.
- While your dentist may recommend that you use an antibacterial or anti-odor mouthwash as part of your daily routine, it shouldn’t replace brushing.
- Brush your teeth thoroughly, paying special attention to the gumline. A special, dentist-recommended single-tufted brush might be required for particular problem areas.
Take your dentures out every night and clean them thoroughly before putting them back the next morning:
Use only soap and lukewarm water, denture cream, or a denture-cleaning tablet- avoid toothpaste as it can scrape the surface and cause stains.
Use a separate toothbrush for cleaning your dentures.
This routine will keep your dentures clean and fresh, and prevent plaque build-up which causes bad breath.
Other Tips for Fresh Breath
- Quit smoking
- Eat healthily and avoid strongly flavored or spicy food
- Avoid sugary food and beverages to prevent an increase of bacteria in your mouth
- Limit alcohol intake
- Drink less coffee
- Drink lots of water to keep your mouth from drying
- After eating, chew sugar-free gum to stimulate the flow of saliva. It cleans the mouth of any remaining food particles
Schedule regular check-ups with your dentist to ensure plaque and calculus(tartar)are removed from your teeth, especially in difficult to reach areas.
Your dentist can advise the best way to clean your teeth and gums and show you areas you might be missing. They can also notice early signs of gum disease and commence treatment.