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Treating & Avoiding Bad Breath | Go Beyond Brushing

Brush and Floss

Daily tooth brushing and flossing are the most important actions you can take to ward off bad breath. If you neglect to brush and floss daily, food particles can linger in your mouth, causing bad breath. So, it's recommended to brush twice a day for at least two minutes.

Today, flossing has become an integral part of daily oral care and the Oral Hygienists Association of South Africa (OHASA) recommends flossing at least once a day. Correct flossing after each meal consistently cuts down on plaque, germs and odour-causing food particles. Flossing helps stop periodontal disease as well, which is another cause of bad breath.

Clean Your Tongue

Cleaning your tongue can effectively decrease halitosis-causing compounds. These compounds form on your tongue and in your mouth when germs and amino acids combine, emitting an unpleasant sulphur-like smell. So cleaning your tongue regularly is important in fighting halitosis. Using a toothbrush that incorporates a unique tongue cleaner can help remove up to 96 percent more odour-causing germs to eliminate bad breath.

Eat Healthy

It's common knowledge that certain foods cause bad breath, like raw onion or garlic. When ingested and excreted by the lungs, such foods cause halitosis. But avoiding acidic foods (like vinegar) or high-fructose foods (like sugary cereal) cuts down on bad breath, too. Both acids and sugars increase the production of germs and bad breath.

Instead, choose a diet that curbs intestinal upset and odour-causing germs. It is recommended that you moderate your sugar intake and choose foods that increase saliva flow, including:

  • Whole grains like brown rice
  • Dark green and orange vegetables
  • A variety of fruits, and
  • Proteins such as fish, beans, nuts or seeds.

Use a Mouthrinse

Use a mouthrinse after every meal to reduce plaque and gum problems, and freshen breath. Mouthrinse alone is not an effective remedy, but should be used in addition to regular brushing and flossing.

Use Traditional Remedies

Home treatments passed down over the years are a good complement to your daily dental care. Herbs such as fennel, for example, have long been used in some cultures as a breath sweetener. Fennel increases saliva production and contains numerous antibacterial properties, and a few sprigs will do the trick after or between meals.

Fresh breath is a sign of a healthy mouth, and a healthy mouth is often a good indication of your overall health. These home remedies for bad breath are habits you can take up in your own home, and they're integral to fighting and preventing the underlying causes of bad breath.