How to Keep Your Breath Fresh: Best Practices & Tools

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woman flossing her teeth
Image courtesy of 89studio

Yesterday was National Fresh Breath day. It’s a day that brings awareness for something everyone has suffered with—bad breath. Oral hygiene may be a sensitive topic for a lot of people, because if we’re all being honest, no one is born with fresh minty breath. In many cases, our everyday goal is just to not have horrible smelling breath.

What your breath smells like may indicate how well and how often people interact with you. Bad breath discrimination, which sounds like a stink, exists too. But it’s one of the easiest hygiene problems to fix. Who hasn’t done a quick breath check at least once? If you haven’t, perhaps this is something you should look into occasionally checking.

Here are my 5 best practices and tools for keeping fresh breath throughout the day:

5. Drinking Water

You should be drinking water all day long. Water is natural, and this pure, non-caloric, bland beverage helps our bodies maintain the overall health of our organs and cells. Drinking water helps prevent bad breath. It’s a better alternative to drinking sweet or sugary drinks, that not only adds excess calories, but stain teeth as well. Sugary drinks contribute to bad breath. The bland taste of water washes out any taste in your mouth, and drinking this all day will help you stay hydrated. Keeping your mouth moist lessens bad breath for a neutral one.

4. Tongue, Cheek, and Gum Brushing

It’s recommended that we brush our teeth everyday, and even the Dentists constantly tell us that. But tongue brushing never seems to be emphasized enough and the tongue is where bad breath seems to live. The cleanliness of your tongue is just as important as cleaning your teeth. A good indicator of tongue brushing in need, is the color of your tongue. Your tongue should be lightish pink color. You should brush your tongue as often, as you brush your teeth. Gum brushing is vital too. When brushing your teeth, always go slightly above your teeth and brush your gums. Brushing your tongue and gums help remove saliva that carries germs which cause bad smell. Don’t forget to brush the roof of your mouth and cheeks as well.

This specially designed toothbrush will help you complete it all:

3. Fluoride Rinse

Alcohol-free rinse is a temporary breath killer. Though temporary, if accompanied with great oral hygiene techniques, it will help eliminate bad breath for a longer period. Fluoride rinses in particular, help with breath as well, as restoring tooth enamel.

Keep in mind a fluoride rinse is ideal for people who are alcohol-sensitive. If you are not bothered by alcohol, consider using Antiseptic mouthwash (like Listerine). However, be mindful that alcohol mouthwashes can be drying, which leads to dry mouth, which can cause bad breath.

2. Proxabrush

Brushing with your everyday brush shouldn’t just stop there. This small thinner brush is a must-have tool if your oral hygiene is very important to you. A proxabrush is a smaller brush attached to a longer handle, suited to allow brushing in-between teeth and in areas a conventional toothbrush would miss. This helps complete an effective tooth brushing. It helps remove missed food and plaque, which are also factors that contribute to bad breath.

1. Tongue Scraper

This is the best solution I’ve found to keeping fresh breath. As mentioned above, conventional brushing is not perfect. Solely brushing your tongue with it won’t certify a lasting effect. Tongue scrapers however, literally scrape everything off your tongue, including the saliva underneath that you don’t see. Most handles are long enough to accommodate you no matter how big or small your tongue is, and a simple gentle scrape will remove all sorts of remaining particles or food too small that a manual brush won’t recover.

If you want to get down to the nitty gritty for a harder tongue brush, try this:

 

Though I found this brush to be pretty harsh for me, it may be a better option for you compared to the scraper.

Always remember if you want to keep your breath fresh, it’s important that you’re mindful of what you eat if you’re going to be in close contact with people. Be choosy in what you foods you eat (onions), what you drink (coffee), and be sure to do flossing, brushing more than once a day, and keep sugar-free mints handy.

If you find that none of these tips work for you in combating bad breath, visit your dentist.

What are your tips for keeping your breath fresh?

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