When you think about the components of a great smile, it’s easy to get hung up on the visual aspects: shape, color, alignment. But there is something unseen which can be a huge turn-off, no matter how gorgeous the smile may be. Bad breath can ruin a first impression and it can be embarrassing amongst close acquaintances. A Charlotte dentist offers these 7 tips for getting the problem under control:
- Brush and floss. This is an obvious first step, but it’s one that is easy to get wrong. Even if you floss several times each day, your efforts are almost useless unless you are cleaning along the gumline and between the teeth in the crevices where smelly bacteria can hide.
- Watch your tongue. If the back of your tongue is coated in white or brown, you can bet that it smells bad, too. Brush that area or scrape it with a tongue scraper at least once a day.
- This is not a replacement for daily brushing and flossing, but can be a very helpful addition. Mouthwash uses alcohol and essential oils to kill bacteria and neutralize mouth odors.
- Clean your appliances. Dentures, partials, braces, retainers, and mouthguards are known to harbor smelly bacteria and food particles. Clean these items daily, just as you would clean your own teeth.
- Don’t dry out. Your mouth needs saliva to flush out food particles and neutralize acids. Choose foods like apples, carrots, and sugar-free gum that promote a healthy flow of saliva to keep bad breath away.
- Quit smoking. Tobacco smoke smells bad and the added chemicals can leave a sticky residue that coats the inside of the mouth, making it tough to brush and rinse the smell away. Giving up the habit completely is the best way to remedy the problem.
- Go to the dentist. Sometimes bad breath is more than a cosmetic issue—it can indicate an underlying health issue. Talk to a Charlotte dentist today for more help.