Bad breath, medically known as halitosis, is a common oral health issue that can significantly impact confidence and social interactions. While occasional bad breath is normal, chronic halitosis can indicate underlying oral health problems or lifestyle habits. However, you can combat bad breath and regain fresh, confident breath with proper understanding and effective remedies. 

Fresh Breath Tips:

  1. Maintain Proper Oral Hygiene: Regular brushing, flossing, and tongue cleaning are essential for removing food particles and bacteria that contribute to bad breath.
  2. Stay Hydrated: Drinking plenty of water helps stimulate saliva production, which naturally cleanses the mouth and neutralizes odor-causing bacteria.
  3. Watch Your Diet: Limit consumption of strong-smelling foods such as garlic, onions, and certain spices, and incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables that promote saliva production and freshen breath.
  4. Chew Sugar-Free Gum: Chewing sugar-free gum can help stimulate saliva flow and mask bad breath temporarily.
  5. Use Mouthwash: Choose an alcohol-free mouthwash containing antibacterial ingredients to reduce bacteria and freshen breath without causing dryness.
  6. Practice Good Habits: Avoid tobacco use, which can cause dry mouth and contribute to bad breath, and schedule regular dental check-ups to detect and address any underlying oral health issues.

Oral Hygiene Techniques:

  1. Brushing: Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth twice a day, focusing on all tooth surfaces and the tongue.
  2. Flossing: Clean between teeth and along the gumline daily using dental floss or interdental brushes to remove plaque and food debris.
  3. Tongue Cleaning: Gently scrape your tongue using a tongue scraper or the back of your toothbrush to remove bacteria and residue responsible for bad breath.
  4. Mouthwash: Rinse with an alcohol-free mouthwash after brushing and flossing to kill bacteria and freshen your breath.
  5. Hydration: Drink water throughout the day to keep your mouth moist and maintain saliva production, which helps wash away bacteria and food particles.

Remedies for bad breath:

  1. Chewing sugar-free gum: Chewing gum stimulates saliva flow and can help mask bad breath temporarily. Look for sugar-free gum containing xylitol, a natural sweetener that helps combat bacteria and prevent cavities.
  2. Natural remedies: Some natural ingredients like mint, parsley, and cloves have natural deodorizing properties that can help freshen breath. Chewing on fresh herbs or spices or using them to make homemade mouthwash can provide relief from bad breath.
  3. Probiotics: Probiotic supplements containing beneficial bacteria can help restore balance to the oral microbiome and reduce the prevalence of odor-causing bacteria. Incorporating probiotic-rich foods like yogurt and kefir into your diet can also support oral health.

Halitosis Solutions:

  1. Identify Underlying Causes: Consult with a dentist or healthcare professional to identify and address any underlying oral health issues such as gum disease, cavities, or dry mouth that may contribute to halitosis.
  2. Treat Oral Infections: If you have untreated oral infections such as gum disease or tooth decay, seek appropriate treatment to eliminate bacteria and restore oral health.
  3. Address Dry Mouth: If medications or medical conditions cause dry mouth, talk to your healthcare provider about possible solutions such as saliva substitutes or adjusting medication dosage.
  4. Professional Cleanings: Schedule regular dental cleanings to remove plaque and tartar buildup, which can harbor bacteria and contribute to bad breath.
  5. Lifestyle Changes: Adopt a healthy lifestyle by quitting smoking, avoiding excessive alcohol consumption, and maintaining a balanced diet to improve overall oral and systemic health.

Dr. David Hanna, owner of Town Dentist, has locations at 122 E. Ridgewood Ave., in Paramus (201-345-3898); and 115 Grand Ave., in Englewood (201-304-7077). For more information, email DentistParamus@gmail.com or visit TheTownDentist.com.