Fighting bad breath is easy, but many people don’t know how to do it. It’s not brain surgery, but it is something that every nurse and care provider should know. Bad breath, like stress, is a malady easily beaten in the home, so these techniques can serve you well for the rest of your life. Basically, bad breath is about bacteria in the mouth. Brushing isn’t sufficient to drive it away, though a bad breath combatting regimen is incomplete without it. You’ll need a couple of tools to make this work, but if you or a loved one has been suffering from horrible breath for a long time, these methods will be a lifesaver. All it takes is three steps.
- Floss. Flossing is one of those things that everybody says you should do, but most people don’t tell you why. Other than helping fight tartar, flossing also gives your breath a new lease on life. That’s because bacteria hides between your teeth, down in the crevasses around your gums. It may not seem like a lot of bacteria could fit down there, but these guys have populations in the trillions. They feast on food matter and old skin cells. By cleaning them out every day with floss, you’ll remove a very large source of bad odor in the mouth. I like to floss at night, right before I brush for the last time of the day. If you get in the habit of it, it only takes a minute. Plus, once you notice the change in your breath, flossing will be its own reward.
- Brush/Scrape Your Tongue. Though lampooned by some, tongues can actually get pretty gross. It’s the texture. All of the ridges and buds give crud, and the bacteria that feast upon it, thousands of little havens for growth. By using a simple tongue scraper every few days, you’ll be able to get rid of the bulk of this stuff and the odor it causes. I like to do this in the evening as well. I rinse between swipes and it all takes about 30 seconds. Sometimes I’ll follow it up by brushing the area I’ve scraped afterwards. Once I’ve scraped, brushed, and flossed, by mouth feels like I’ve just been to the dentist.
- Drink Plenty of Water. Dehydration is the cause of many health concerns, and it has a large role in bad breath as well. Dehydration is easy to achieve. Lots of us consume dehydrating substances, like alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine. By loading up on this stuff, without counterbalancing their diuretic effect with lots of water, we’ll find ourselves dehydrated much or even all of the time. This can result in bad breath, and frequently does. If you’ve done the above two steps, try to double your water intake every day. If you can drink 2 liters or more, you won’t be dehydrated any longer. Your breath is best when your mouth is plenty moist. So give it, and the rest of your body, what it needs in the form of water. Then just brush at the end of the day (with the above two techniques of course), and you should have good breath.