You may think that fighting halitosis is as simple as picking any toothpaste off the grocery store shelf and using it. While brushing your teeth is definitely important, what you brush with makes a big difference in the battle against bad breath.
Consider the book The Undruggist: A Tale of Modern Apothecary and Wellness, written by Larry Frieders. The author, who is fairly skeptical of the bad breath-fighting industry, still acknowledges that some specialty breath freshening products may have a leg up on traditional toothpastes.
"Choose your toothpastes carefully. Most commercial toothpastes contain harsh substances, such as silica (like fine sand), chemical sweeteners, sodium laur[y]l sulfate, and preservatives," Frieders writes. Over time, these things can irritate the delicate tissue inside your mouth, potentially leading to canker sores or swollen gums.
While avoiding substances like sodium lauryl sulfate, it is important to still find a product that cleans and freshens your breath. Sean Lee, in his book title Breath, notes that dental health products that neutralize volatile sulfur compounds often do the best job of resolving oral odor.