We all want a healthy, beautiful smile, but there are some things in our daily routine that are infringing on maintaining pearly whites. Some common habits lead to halitosis - or bad breath - and yellow our teeth. Taking care of your entire mouth is important to maintain a healthy smile, fresh breath and overall well-being.
There are several items that we often link to stinky breath, such as soda and coffee, but snacks like bread and potato chips are also big culprits. Because all carbohydrates break down into simple sugars - the biggest cause of bad breath - snacking on a baguette may cause more damage than you think. It’s okay to have carbs during meal times because you will produce more saliva and be able to wash down the sugars more easily. Bread and crackers have a chewy, adhesive texture that can stick to your teeth and allow for bacteria to cultivate.
It may seem odd, but if you are a soda drinker, it is important not to brush right after downing a carbonated beverage. The acid in soda can cause erosion of tooth enamel, and if you apply the pressure of toothbrush bristles, it can cause major harm. After drinking a sugary beverage, make sure to drink a glass of water that will help rinse down the acid without the pressure of brushing. This will also help to get rid of bad breath from the sugar being trapped in the mouth. Drinking these beverages through a straw will also help because then the drink is going straight toward the back of the mouth.
Swimmers beware! Research has shown that chlorinated water can cause erosion or staining of tooth enamel. Sounds crazy, but when you are swimming, it’s likely that water is going into your mouth so packing a toothbrush or alcohol-free mouthwash to use after your laps can prevent this from happening.
"More chlorine in a pool may equal more protection against bacteria, but overdoing it lowers the pool's pH level and makes it dangerously acidic," Matt Messina, DDS, consumer advisor for the American Dental Association told MSN. "If you're swimming a lot and have any tooth discomfort whatsoever, check with your dentist.”
We are now a culture of bottled water, which is not only horrible for the environment but it eliminates the intake of fluoride in water. Drinking tap water - depending on your area - is often much healthier and will help protect your teeth. If you are a big water drinker, purchase a to-go water bottle to fill up with tap water. Halitosis can be avoided with a healthy intake of water.