How can I keep my mouth smelling fresh and feeling clean?

Halitosis, or what we refer to as bad breath, is something many of us worry about.
It can be very problematic for suffering individuals and really knocks their confidence.
Bad breath can be temporarily masked by chewing gum or mints but how can you stop it coming back time and time again? Here are a few tips to help you beat that bad breath.

Firstly you need to know that bad breath (halitosis) is caused by bacteria in the mouth not being brushed/cleaned away effectively over a period of time. This bacteria forms a ‘Biofilm’ layer anywhere it can cling on to, like grooves and ridges in the tongue surface, under the gums line and even the back of the throat. This biofilm layer not only protects the bacteria, but encourages the growth of more bacteria, which is why simply popping a chewing gum in your mouth or a quick blast of mouthwash now and again will not get rid of any nasty smells.

You need to effectively brush twice a day, morning and evening, for at least two minutes each time. Electric toothbrushes are great for aiding efficient brushing, but if you get the technique right a manual toothbrush will be just as good. Make sure you are hitting every surface of the teeth and also angling the tooth brush to make sure you clean that gum line. Gums are just as important as teeth when it comes to good oral hygiene.

In addition to this you need to start flossing at least once a day, as this can dislodge any food or bacteria trapped between the teeth or under the gum line which can contribute towards bad breath.

As well as brushing the teeth you should take around 30 seconds to brush your tongue. The bacteria which causes bad breath love the grooves in the tongue as it makes a perfect breeding ground for them. You can actually buy a tongue scrapper but I find that a toothbrush does just as well. It can take a bit of getting used to but you will feel the difference in your mouth straight away.

Many people use mouthwash as it feels like instant blast of freshness. However, antibacterial mouthwashes will only have any benefit if effective cleaning has taken place beforehand. If you use mouthwash do not rely on it to do all the work for you. The mouthwash is fine to use during the day for ‘top ups,’ but if you suffer badly from bad breath I would recommend brushing and flossing after every meal as food is often a trigger for bad breath.

• Effective brushing – Twice a day, two minutes each time.
• Flossing – Once a day, dislodges trapped food and bacteria.
• Brush the tongue – Clean that bacteria breeding ground.
• Mouthwash and chewing gum – They will help but will not do the hard work for you.
• Regular dental check-ups – identity problems and help you maintain good oral health
• Keep hydrated – Plenty of water, and avoid sugary drinks
• Stop smoking – bad breath, gum disease, oral cancer. Need I say more?