Bad Breath?

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Hey, it happens! Most people worry about having bad breath.

For many, having sweeter breath is just a matter of using the right products and following your dental hygienist’s instructions. Here are some of my recommendations for better breath:

First, make sure your tongue is clean. After brushing and flossing, but before rinsing, use a tongue scraper or an upside-down spoon to clean away bacteria that live on the tongue. Reach as far back on your tongue as you comfortably can, and scrape forward across the surface.

Are your gums healthy? If your gums bleed when you floss, they may have a bad odor. Use tiny brushes to clean between your teeth, or floss daily, to get your gums in great shape.

A good mouth rinse will help heal bleeding gums and bad odors. Does your mouth rinse have alcohol in it? If so, it may dry your mouth out, which can make your breath worse in the long run. I recommend alcohol-free Closys Antiseptic Oral Rinse. You can find Closys at Walgreens or your dentist office.

If your breath needs more help, Jorgen Slots, professor of dentistry at the USC School of Dentistry, offers this suggestion: pick up some Hibiclens (antiseptic skin wash) at the drugstore. Place two to four drops on your toothbrush. Use the toothbrush to apply the Hibiclens as far back on your tongue as you can get it. This is where the worst of the worst bad breath bacteria live, and the Hibiclens kills those bad guys. You only need to do this once a day for two days. Then use the Hibiclens just as needed in the future.

Do you have tonsil stones? These can cause bad breath, too. Tonsil stones are a plaque that can build up in the bumpy surface of your tonsils. Gargle your mouth rinse to help clean the tonsil areas; talk to your doctor if your tonsil stones are especially bothersome.

Some people have medical issues that can cause bad breath like seasonal allergies, diabetes, and acid reflux. If that is the case have your medical doctor evaluate.