woman with bad breath

4 Tips for How to Prevent Bad Breath

Team General Dentistry

Bad breath is embarrassing, but it shouldn’t be—after all, everyone has bad breath at some point in their lives! All it takes is one everything bagel to make your breath unpleasant for the rest of the day. Even seasonal allergies and being dehydrated can make your breath smell not-so-fresh. Luckily, there are effective strategies to help you keep bad breath in check. 

Prevent Dry Mouth


Surprisingly, dry mouth is one of the most common reasons for bad breath, perhaps only second to eating onions and garlic. There are many potential causes for bad breath, though, so resolving the underlying issue means you’ll have to identify why you have dry mouth in the first place.

Congestion, either due to illness, allergies, or chronic sinus issues, can cause dry mouth by forcing you to breathe through your mouth. Certain medications cause dry mouth, as does radiation treatment. Some people simply get dry mouth because they don’t drink enough throughout the day.

How does dry mouth lead to bad breath? Well, one of the jobs performed by our saliva is to rinse away food particles and bacteria throughout the day. When there’s not enough saliva to perform this function, the bits of leftover food and bacteria begin to produce an odor. Dry mouth also leads to tooth decay and gum disease, which causes bad breath too.

Even if you can’t figure out the reason for your dry mouth, keeping hydrated will help. Take a reusable bottle of water with you wherever you go to stay hydrated and keep your breath fresher. If you use mouthwash, ditch it if it contains alcohol and switch to a rinse that is formulated specifically for dry mouth instead. For those times when you can’t drink water, sugarless gum or lozenges can help in a pinch.


Practice Good Home Hygiene Habits


Most people think they have good oral hygiene habits, but unless you’re timing yourself while you brush, you’re probably not brushing the recommended two minutes. (Two minutes can feel a lot longer than you’d think!) You should be brushing for two minutes, twice a day, and then flossing at least once a day—preferably before bedtime so you can remove the food particles between your teeth that have accumulated through the day.

When it comes to brushing, pay attention to what you’re doing—mindless brushing doesn’t do the job. Divide your mouth into four quadrants and brush the fronts, backs, and chewing surfaces of your teeth in each one. Use a tongue scraper to clean your tongue or simply brush it with your toothbrush.


Stop Using Tobacco Products


There are many reasons to stop smoking and bad breath isn’t anywhere near the top of the list—but it’s still a reason! Not only does smoking leave you with the smell of cigarette smoke on your breath, it’s also linked to gum disease, which is another factor that causes bad breath.


Don’t Miss Your Routine Dental Exams


Preventive care is important for your oral health, and that includes your breath too. When you visit the dentist every six months for comprehensive exams and cleanings, we’ll catch cavities and gum disease before they become serious and start causing odor. Cleaning plaque from your teeth also helps keep your breath fresh.  We commit to open and honest communication with you.  If we notice you have bad breath, we will offer you solutions without judgement.


Schedule an Appointment Today


Bad breath can be embarrassing. If you’re worried you have bad breath, we can help. It’s our job!  Let’s take care of the problem and restore your self-confidence. Contact us at 310-530-9893 to schedule an appointment at our Torrance, CA office.