Narrator: A lot of people are embarassed by their bad breath, but it’s a problem that can be solved. Certain foods and beverages can cause bad breath. When strong foods like onions and garlic are the cause, bad breath is temporary. Most bad breath, called halitosis, is caused by poor oral hygiene. When you eat, minute particles of food get trapped between your teeth, and by tiny bumps and grooves on your tongue. The particles grow bacteria which release a sulphur compound causing bad breath. Another common cause of bad breath is dry mouth. Dry mouth happens naturally when you sleep causing morning breath and it is worst if you sleep with your mouth open. Some medication also cause dry mouth and it is more common as you age. And smokers, almost all people who use tobacco have bad breath. Proper brushing and flossing are the first line of defense against halitosis. Many people use mouthwash to combat bad breath. But, most over the counter mouthwashes are just a temporary mask, and do not solve the problem. We may recommend a medicated mouthwash. Here are some ways you can improve your breath.
Brush after every meal. You might want to carry a toothbrush with you. Floss at least once a day. Brush your tongue to help dislodge any remaining particles. You can use your toothbrush or a special tongue cleaner. Bacteria can build up, so use a new toothbrush. You should change your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months. To avoid dry mouth stay hydrated by drinkning lots of water, other liquids like soda and coffee don’t count. If you wear dentures or braces clean them very well, and see your dentist at least twice a year for a professional cleaning. Sometimes bad breath is a sign of a more serious health problem. If your breath has a particular odor, perhaps fishy, fruity or smells like ammonia, you might need to see your physician. With a little better care on your part, you can combat bad breath and enjoy life.