Bad breath is obviously unpleasant and, at one time or another, we have probably all suffered from it. Unfortunately it’s easy to unwittingly have less than fresh breath and it’s only a very brave friend that is likely to tell you. Stinky breath can affect anyone at any age and has several causes including diet, smoking and oral hygiene. To freshen your breath naturally, try these:
1. Oral hygiene Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes at a time. This helps clean away the plaque and bacterial on the front, back and chewing surfaces. Brush gently. My dentist tells me it’s beneficial to spit, not rinse after cleaning because rinsing with water or gargling with mouthwash washes away the fluoride. It can be a difficult habit to break but not rinsing can reduce tooth decay by up to 25%.
2. Floss at least once a day Flossing dislodges anything your toothbrush can’t reach. It keeps your breath fresh and plaque under control so that your gums are pink and healthy.
3. Visit your dentist and hygienist regularly Every six months should do it. It makes sense to have your teeth and gums checked over and for the hygienist to give your gnashers a really thorough clean.
4. Clean your tongue (gently) Debris, bacteria and dead cells can build up on your tongue, so you could try a tongue scraper. You can buy one or use a clean teaspoon.
5. Drink more water Yes, that old chestnut. Believe it or not, dehydration is one of the most common causes of bad breath. Many people drink far too little water throughout the day and dehydration reduces your saliva production which is tricky because your spit has antibacterial and antifungal properties that keep your breath smelling fresh.
6. Supplement your diet with zinc Another common cause of halitosis is a deficiency in the mineral zinc, which helps maintain a clean, bacteria-free mouth.
7. Don’t smoke Apart from the fact that a cigarette instantly makes your breath smell bad, they are a contributory factor to speeding up gum disease.
8. Drink nettle tea Drinking this herb in tea form could help flush your system of toxins, including an overflow of yeast, which can cause halitosis. Plus, it’s a good hot beverage substitute for coffee, which doesn’t exactly help the issue of bad breath.
9. Take Probiotics Fresh breath relies on a healthy digestive system. Eating probiotic foods like yogurt and kefir helps build up the good bacteria in your stomach and intestines.
10. Include more raw and/or hydrating foods in your diet Oranges, apples and organic celery – along with other water-rich produce – can help prevent dry mouth, which can contribute to halitosis. And the firm texture of, for example, apples or carrots, helps remove food caught between your teeth.
11. Try natural mouth fresheners Chew on parsley after meals or sip on peppermint tea.
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