Do you feel like your breath isn’t what it used to be? Or maybe you notice that those around you have bad breath from time to time, and you don’t want to offend them. Either way, National Fresh Breath Day — August 6th — is the perfect day to learn how to freshen your breath and keep it healthy all year long! Here are 5-tips from your dentist in St. Louis on how to keep your breath smelling great.
The first step to getting and keeping fresh breath is to take care of your oral health by brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes. And don’t forget to gently brush your tongue, too! Thoroughly cleaning your mouth each morning and every night helps remove bad breath bacteria and can even reduce the risk of gum disease. In fact, gum disease is the second most common source of bad breath.
Eating a balanced diet is one of the best ways to improve your breath. Processed, sugary foods can leave you with bad breath because they feed bacteria in your mouth and produce acids that cause tooth decay and plaque buildup. Instead, choose raw fruits and veggies.
Drinking water keeps your mouth and throat hydrated, so it helps wash away food particles and bacteria. Water is also essential for thinning your saliva. Saliva is a natural defense against germs, but it can get thick from dehydration, which leads to higher levels of bacteria in your mouth. Take long sips throughout the day or even drink water in between meals. Your dentist in St. Louis recommends drinking 6 to 8 eight-ounce glasses of water every day.
Smoking cigarettes can automatically make breath smell simply because of the way cigarettes smell. But that’s not the only reason. The smell of cigarettes can linger around long after you’re done smoking because it gets trapped in your mouth. Smoking also causes dry mouth and can increase the likelihood of developing gum disease, both of which are common causes of bad breath.
Regular visits to your dentist help catch issues before they become serious and allow a chance for your hygienist to give you a deep, professional cleaning. These cleanings help remove bacteria or plaque buildup that you can’t tackle at home and may be contributing to bad breath. These same bacteria may also increase your risk of cavities or gum disease later on down the line if left unchecked and uncleaned by a hygienist.