Manage Your Dental Problems One Tip at a Time

Three Habits To Help Fight Persistent Bad Breath

If you suffer from persistent bad breath that lingers even after you brush your teeth, you may be ashamed to talk to or even smile at other people. Luckily, you don't have to go on living like this! Here's a look at three simple habits that will help you fight your persistent bad breath.

Brush or scrape your tongue.

The same bacteria that live in the plaque on your teeth and are responsible for bad breath also live on your tongue. So if you're not brushing your tongue, then this could be the reason your breath is still bad. Use your toothbrush to gently scrub your tongue as far back as you comfortably can. You may gag a little the first time or two you do this, but don't fret -- you'll adapt over time.

Another option is to buy a tongue scraper. Made from plastic, these are shaped like a circle or a "c" and are mounted on a handle similar to your toothbrush. To use them, you just reach towards the back of your tongue, set the scraper down, and pull forward.

Use a saltwater mouthwash.

Antiseptic mouthwashes that use alcohol as an active ingredient are a good choice for many sufferers of bad breath, but sometimes, they only clear up bad breath for an hour or two. If mouthwash is not working well for you, then try a saltwater rinse instead. Just stir a teaspoon of salt into a cup of warm water, and swish it around. This is a milder solution, so it will slowly control levels of bacteria over time, keeping bad breath (and gum disease that leads to bad breath) at bay.

Floss more thoroughly.

Hopefully you're already flossing at least once a day, as it removes the smelly plaque from between your teeth. If you're not, then now is the time to adopt this habit. If you are flossing and still have bad breath, it's time to take it one step further. Make sure you're moving the floss in a "c" shape around the base of each tooth -- not just jamming it down between the teeth. This will remove bacteria from deeper around your gums, helping to heal any gum disease that may be contributing to your bad breath.

If you continue to notice bad breath even after you partake in these habits, contact a dentist like Bradley T Piotrowski DDS MSD LLC. There may be something more sinister going on, like a decaying tooth or gum disease. Having the problem treated by a dentist should freshen your breath so you feel confident talking to people again.