Don't fall for ineffective bad breath solutions
SUMMARY: There are so many tips out there for how to alleviate halitosis, that it can be difficult to know which ones are really worth your time.
Posted: September 21, 2012
There are so many tips out there for how to alleviate halitosis, that it can be difficult to know which ones are really worth your time. Unfortunately, many of them are not. For example, many so-called "experts" will try to tell you that certain herbs and spices hold the key to freshening your breath, but in reality all they do is provide more food for the bacteria in your mouth that are causing the problem in the first place.
So how can you weed out the good from the bad when it comes to bad breath treatments? It's simple - if a halitosis advice sounds like merely a temporary solution, chances are it is. For instance, people with bad breath are often told to chew on clove, cardamom or fennel, along with a number of other spices. However, these herbs are only masking the smell of halitosis, similarly to putting a scented candle next to a pile of trash. If you don't actually remove the trash, eventually, the candle will go out and the smell will still be there.
This is why it's important to only use bad breath therapies that work to target the odors produced by bacteria that cause halitosis, not just mask the smell they emit.
Dentist-approved bad breath fixes
So what are these magical bad breath solutions that actually work? Most of them are pretty common sense, actually. For example, WebMD spoke to Tina Frangella, D.D.S., who said that visiting the dentist regularly is a great way to alleviate halitosis. One of the major causes of bad breath is the buildup of plaque and bacteria in the mouth, often in places where people miss during their everyday brushing. Only a dental health professional can fully remove this plaque and the unpleasant odor it emits.
However, since you can't go to the dentist every week, Frangella suggested using an electric toothbrush, for two important reasons.
"First, because many electric toothbrushes have timers on them and the majority of people do not brush their teeth for the right length of time (2 minutes). And secondly, because electric toothbrushes distribute a uniform motion, which I find helps remove plaque more efficiently than when my patients use manual toothbrushes," said Frangella, quoted by WebMD.
Another helpful tip offered by the medical news source was to use mouthwash, but only certain kinds. For example, it's important to stick to an antibacterial oxygenating rinse that can attack the bacteria in your mouth that cause bad breath, not just a cosmetic one that aims to merely mask odor.
Other than visiting the dentist and practicing other good oral health habits, there are lifestyle changes that can improve bad breath. For example, Discovery Health states that if you're trying to avoid bad breath, you have to watch what you eat, and that doesn't just mean avoiding garlic and onions. Meat is also likely to leave you with halitosis, because meat particles tend to stick around in the mouth long after you've taken that bite of steak.
Also, many people don't have the time to brush their teeth after every meal, but you should make an effort to at least rinse your mouth out after eating and drinking acidic beverages such as soda and coffee. These beverages may lower the pH in your mouth, which allows bacteria to flourish. However, rinsing your mouth with water may help restore your pH levels and keep the environment moist.
So don't believe the hype, stick with proven bad breath remedies to alleviate halitosis.