Bad breath is something that everyone has had to deal with at some point in their lives. Medically called Halitosis, children and adults can get bad breath from a variety of causes, most of which are minor and easily fixed. However, bad breath can also indicate more serious issues that require a trip to the dentist. Below are some of the causes – and remedies – for bad breath.
Some foods are notorious for causing temporary bad breath. Garlic, onions, fish and spicy foods can turn even the best breath sour. The best way to get rid of bad breath caused by food is to swish cool water around your mouth for 30 seconds, 15 minutes after a meal. Make sure to always brush your teeth after eating a spicy meal, but wait an hour between finishing the meal and brushing so that you don’t damage your enamel.
Certain medications can cause bad breath. If you have just started taking a new medication recently, then this may be causing bad breath. The way that medications are processed by our bodies may result in bad breath. Continue to brush your teeth twice per day, and consider adding a minty mouthwash to your routine to help mask bad breath.
Sometimes, food debris can get left in your mouth and will result in bad breath. If this is the case, rinse out your mouth with clean, cool water for 30 seconds to remove any excess debris. If that doesn’t remove leftover food, brush and thoroughly floss to reach any food lodged between your teeth.
Saliva naturally cleans the mouth, so when you have a dry mouth your breath will likely suffer. While there are multiple causes for dry mouth such as stress, anxiety and certain medications, you can usually fix it by eating foods that increase saliva production like cheese, apples or carrots. Make sure to drink enough water – 8 to 10 cups per day- and if that doesn’t help, then try chewing gum sweetened with xylitol – a healthy sugar substitute – to increase your saliva flow.
Poor Oral Hygiene
If you are not brushing twice daily or flossing once per day, then you might get bad breath. To make the most of your oral hygiene routine, make sure that you are brushing for at least two minutes each session. Additionally, check your toothbrush to see if it is still in working order. If the bristles are frayed and it is older than 3 months, then it’s time to replace it.
Infections or Mouth Sores
Bad breath can be the result of oral surgery, open sores or plaque buildup. If you have a mouth sore, you can help treat it and keep it clean by swishing warm salt water in your mouth for 30 seconds. If your bad breath still persists, then see your dentist to help remedy it.
The Best Remedy is Prevention
Most bad breath is the result of poor oral hygiene. If you or your child is maintaining a good dental cleaning regiment – brushing twice per day for 2 minutes at a time and flossing once per day – then you will most likely have fresh breath. However, if your child has a good oral health routine and still suffers from bad breath, then bring them into our office so that we can evaluate their mouth and find the underlying cause.