Although many people experience chronic bad breath, also known as halitosis, it can often be prevented by practicing several key habits. Here are some important ways to avoid developing bad breath that you can build into your daily routine.
Make sure you stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water keeps your mouth moist and stimulates the production of saliva, which helps wash away odor-causing food particles and bacteria from your teeth, gums, and tongue. Avoid sugary and acidic drinks, as these can damage teeth and leave odor-causing food deposits in the mouth.
Limit the amount of coffee and alcohol that you consume. In addition to leaving a pungent smell that is difficult to remove from your mouth, these drinks can lead to dry mouth. Bad breath often occurs as a result of dry mouth, which limits saliva flow and causes smelly deposits of bacteria and food to linger in the tongue, teeth, and gums.
Do not smoke or use other tobacco products. If you do smoke, see your doctor or dentist for tips on quitting the habit. In addition to causing bad breath from toxic chemicals and drying out the mouth, smoking increases the risk of developing gum disease and oral cancer.
Switch to sugarless gum and mints. Sugarless gum and mints do not leave the sugary deposits in your mouth that contribute to unpleasant breath and tooth decay. In addition to temporarily improving breath quality, using sugar-free gum and mints can improve saliva flow when consumed after a meal, thereby combating the long-term causes of bad breath.
Maintain healthy oral hygiene with regular brushing of your teeth, tongue, and gums, as well as flossing. Cleaning your teeth after every meal and snack will help maintain a clean, odor-free mouth. Using an antibacterial mouthwash daily can also help prevent odor. See your dentist for routine cleanings and exams to ensure continual oral health and to ask any questions about dental hygiene.