Companies are always coming out with new variations of their oral healthcare products like new toothpastes and mouthwashes that promise you a longer and longer lasting "minty fresh sensation". But do we really need to buy into this hype or is there a simple step by step way to cure bad breath that no one else is talking about? In this article that is what we aim to find out.
Before we can effectively cure bad breath we must first understand what causes it. While certain strong smelling foods like, onions and garlic can linger on the breath after eating, chronic bad breath is a more serious problem in which bacteria in the mouth that live on the tongue are allowed to breed. As they do so the consume proteins as a food source and emit volatile sulpher compounds as waste products. It is the volatile sulpher compounds that cause the foul stench of bad breath.
For those that are curing bad breath at home the focus must be on reducing the levels of these bacteria in the mouth. More often than not the bacteria are able to gain a foothold and breed because:
- We fail to floss and brush properly
- We fail to clean the tongue
- We use the wrong kinds of mouthwash
- We allow the mouth to become dry
- We allow the mouth to become an acidic environment
Therefore if we are to have any chance of curing bad breath successfully we must address these shortcomings in our oral healthcare regime. Flossing should be done before brushing to dislodge any particles of food that could potentially be used by the bacteria as a source of food whilst brushing will remove any particles form the chewing surfaces.
Cleaning the tongue properly is one of the most important factors when it comes to curing bad breath as this is the area where the malodorous causing bacteria are concentrated. The best way to remove the bacteria from this area is with a tongue scraper. There are many varieties on the market so shop around to see which kind suits you best. You can, if necessary simply use your toothbrush to clean from back to front down the tongue, just be sure to rinse the brush thoroughly after doing so.
Most mouthwashes simply mask the problem for a few hours without dealing with the real cause of bad breath, bacteria. In order to fight these bacteria effectively choose an anti-bacterial mouthwash that is non-alcoholic as alcoholic mouthwashes contribute to the other primary cause of bad breath, a dry mouth.
Having a dry mouth is the ideal breeding ground for anaerobic bacteria to grow. Unfortunately we all experience a natural decrease in saliva levels as we age so it is vitally important to stay well hydrated by drinking the recommended two liters of water every day. It is also wise to avoid diuretics such as tea and coffee as they will only elevate levels of dehydration.
The final factor we must take care to avoid is allowing the environment inside the mouth to become acidic. The mouth will become acidic if we are eating or drinking acidic foods like orange juice or sugary foods as they to will lead to an acidic environment.
We can combat this with a simple home made remedy using baking soda. Amongst its many powerful cleaning properties baking soda can also help lower the pH of the mouth if mixed with water to form a paste for brushing or a solution to gargle. You could also look for ready made baking soda based oral healthcare products in the drugstore such as toothpastes and mouthwash.
So before you rush out to buy the latest toothpaste, mouthwash or gum advertised on TV be sure you have all these bases covered and you will not only be saving yourself money but you will also be well on your way to curing bad breath.