1) Brush and Floss
Your mouth contains millions of bacteria. In fact, there are probably more bacteria colonized in your mouth than there are cells in your entire body. Regardless, there are a few things you can do to beat the bad breath caused by germs. Start by keeping your mouth clean: Your food supply is their food supply. Although you can try to kill bacteria with mouthwash, this is only a temporary solution. The bacteria will grow back over time. Your best defence is to brush your teeth thoroughly at least twice a day, and floss once a day. This will help remove the food trapped between your teeth, as well as the food trapped in the gum line. Otherwise, both of these areas would provide breeding grounds for bacteria. If food particles are left to linger, bad breath is imminent.
2) Clean Your Tongue
Scientists suspect that some bacteria produce a pungent odour as they multiply. There is one simple thing you can do to help, though: Clean your tongue. The rough surface of the tongue is home to a potentially foul-smelling combination of dead cells, food debris, bacteria and the by-products of bacterial digestion — factors that all contribute to less-than-fresh breath. Be sure to brush your tongue with your toothbrush after you brush your teeth.
3) Drink Water
Why is morning breath so awful? When you sleep, you produce less saliva than when you’re awake and according to howstuffworks.com, saliva contains oxygen, and oxygen deters the growth of bacteria. Your mouth can become dry during the day, too. And a dry mouth — whether it’s at midnight or noon — can quickly cause bad breath. You need plenty of saliva because it helps clean your mouth; it’s naturally antibacterial, and it washes away food particles. To keep your saliva flowing throughout the day, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. You also could stimulate saliva production by sucking on a mint or chewing gum, but these are only temporary solutions.
4) Don’t Rely on Mints
Relying on a mints or chewing gum to hide bad breath is just like using perfume to hide body odour. It may work for a little while, but eventually the smell will break through and it will be even worse. A mint or piece of chewing gum simply won’t kill the bacteria that cause mouth odour. Plus, if the mint or gum contains sugar, it will act encourage the growth of the bacteria in your mouth. They will continue to rapidly reproduce and release the by-products, such as volatile sulphur compounds, that cause bad breath.
5) Watch your Diet
You probably expect some foods to give you bad breath, such as garlic or onions. But some bad-breath culprits may surprise you. Take meat, for example. Meat particles are known for sticking around, even after you’ve swallowed and washed down with a gulp of water. These meat particles collect at the gum line, get stuck between teeth, and sometimes work their way under fillings or crowns — and are especially attractive to reproducing bacteria. The key to preventing this is to brush after every meal or at least twice a day.
6) Rinse After Eating and Drinking
What you drink can cause bad breath, too. Consuming an acidic beverage, including soft drinks, coffee or alcohol, will release compounds into your bloodstream that will, in turn, release odours through your breath. Plus, acidic drinks lower the pH level in your mouth: A lower pH level allows bacteria to flourish and release volatile sulphur compounds, which smell similar to a rotten egg.
You can keep your breath fresh by doing one simple thing: Rinse your mouth with plain water after drinking it. This will help rebalance your mouth’s pH levels. Rinsing with water also works after meals — no matter what you’ve eaten.
7) Use Nature’s Cures
If you’re serious about combating bad breath, drink green tea during meals or sip it throughout the day. Green tea helps keep your breath fresh because it has antibacterial compounds that fight the germs in your mouth.
8) Eat Sweet Smelling Food
There are certain foods that smell good — and that make your breath smell good, too. Take fruits high in vitamin C, for example. Melons, berries and citrus fruits such as oranges are packed with vitamin C which tampers with the bacteria in your mouth. Instead of continuing to reproduce, the bacteria will begin to die. And the more C-laden fruits you eat, the more oral germs you’ll kill.
9) Stop Smoking
Cigarettes release a cocktail of chemicals into the mouth and they also cause a host of other problems. People who smoke cigarettes are more likely to experience oral infections and disease. In addition, they often have a plaque build-up on their teeth, and plaque is an ideal place to harbour odour-causing bacteria. Plus, smoking tends to dry out the mouth. A dry mouth is an oxygen-depleted mouth, which provides the perfect environment for anaerobic bacteria to thrive
10) Visit Your Dentist
Unfortunately, one of the most common causes of persistent bad breath is also one of the most overlooked: a lack of regularly scheduled visits to your dentist. It is recommended that children and adults have a professional cleaning regularly. For most, twice a year should suffice. For others who experience tartar build-up more quickly, four times a year may be necessary.