How to Prevent Bad Breath

A white and blue toothbrush with toothpaste on the bristles.

While almost everyone has struggled with bad breath at one point in their lives, like in an important meeting or on a first date, it is embarrassing and unpleasant for all involved. Bad breath is one of the consequences of bacteria building up somewhere in the mouth. Therefore, prevention is possible if you can target where in the mouth these bacterias build up. The following are simple suggestions that help to remove bad breath.

Brush your teeth at least twice a day

Perhaps the most obvious way to prevent bad breath is to properly brush your teeth at least twice a day. The main purpose of brushing teeth is to remove any food buildup on the teeth that may result in plaque or bacteria. Sometimes bad breath may still occur even though you are brushing your teeth regularly. However, it is very important to know the proper way to brush your teeth, or the most effective way at removing plaque and bacteria from your teeth. If you notice that you tend to finish brushing your teeth in less than a minute and that you brush hard, quick, and with back and forth motions, stop and apply the following suggestions:

  1. When brushing your teeth, ensure that you are brushing in a soft circular motion on all surface areas of the tooth.
  2. Perform the same circular motions on your gums throughout.
  3. When done correctly, it should take about two minutes to complete.

These suggestions should ensure optimal brushing so that a majority of plaque and bacteria is removed.

Floss your teeth daily

Sometimes, you may brush your teeth but still notice that your bad breath remains. It may be that you have food deposits stuck in between your teeth that are causing the odor. To clean in between your teeth, it is necessary to floss. Yet, rather than simply moving the floss up and down between each tooth, try bending the floss to hug around the tooth; this will create a “C” shape with the floss. Then, while hugging the tooth with the floss, gently push the floss down into the gum area to remove any bacteria that may be hiding down there. This method of flossing is very effective at removing the bacteria that may be responsible for any bad odors.

Brush your tongue with your toothbrush

While it is important to take care of your teeth and remove any bacteria that may cause bad breath, don’t forget your tongue! A lot of bacteria that forms in the mouth is actually found on the tongue’s surface area. While using toothpaste, try using the bristles on your toothbrush to gentle scrub and remove any bacteria that may be remaining on your tongue.

Use mouthwash regularly

This may seem obvious, but many mouthwashes are advertised to kill most of the germs and bacteria that are in your mouth. This includes any that may be on the tongue or roof of your mouth. So, for good measure, swish mouthwash around in your mouth for 30 to 60 seconds after brushing and flossing to kill that bad breath odor.

See your dentist

If after following all of the above suggestions you still notice that you have bad breath, consult your dentist. It could be that you have cavities or other decay forming somewhere in the mouth that are causing the bad odor, so having a regular bi-annual exam is a wonderful preventative measure to bad breath. Besides that, your hygienist can recommend other methods to preventing bad breath.