It’s a busy time of year, with proms, graduations, weddings, warm weather events and festivals galore! The last thing you want while you’re out and about with other people is to be self conscious about your breath. As long as you are not experiencing chronic bad breath (aka halitosis), rest assured that bad breath happens to everyone at some point.
Bad breath can be a result of the food you ate earlier that day, being dehydrated, certain medications, not flossing or brushing thoroughly that morning, smoking, drinking coffee, drinking alcohol, etc. Below, we walk you through several quick and easy tips for freshening your breath on the go!
Tips For Quickly Freshening Your Breath
- Drink Water to help rinse away bad-breath-causing bacteria and food debris in your mouth. Dry mouth is also a common culprit for bad breath, and drinking water will help keep your mouth moist while also maintaining healthy saliva production and a proper oral pH. If you’re self conscious about your breath, drinking water should always be your first go-to! Potable water is readily available at most events and gatherings, and swishing and drinking water is an incredibly easy way to quickly freshen your breath.
- Chew Sugar-Free Gum to stimulate saliva production and help wash away bacteria and food particles. Gums and mints containing xylitol are best – studies have shown that xylitol (a naturally derived sugar substitute) actually starves oral bacteria, which helps reduce plaque buildup and lowers the risk of cavities.
- Scrub With “Nature’s Toothbrush” – Crunch on some crisp apple slices (known as “nature’s toothbrush!”) or raw carrot or celery sticks. The fibrous flesh of these crunchy fruits and veggies will help scrub your teeth of bad breath causing bacteria, and stimulate saliva production to help wash it away.
- Use a Travel Toothbrush and/or Mouthwash. You can find lots of different kinds of travel toothbrushes – such as foldable, mini and disposable – in the toothbrush aisle, as well as mini bottles of mouthwash. Most can easily fit in a bag or pocket, and you will just have to duck away for a minute or two to use them before joining back in on the fun!
- Floss! Food debris and bacteria that hang around between teeth are huge culprits for bad breath. It might not seem like a quick and easy solution, but flossing thoroughly only takes a couple of minutes and can go a long way to ridding your mouth of bad breath causing clingers. Both flosser picks and regular thread/tape floss are quite portable and convenient to carry around.
- Use a Sugar Free Breath Spray – There are
plenty of breath sprays on the market, but be sure
to choose a sugar free one. Sugary sprays will put your mouth at higher risk of cavities and will actually feed oral bacteria, worsening the situation over time!
- Lemon Slices – Sip on lemon water or bite directly into a lemon slice to quickly freshen breath – the high vitamin C content and increased saliva production will help improve your breath immediately. However, we do not recommend using this tactic regularly. With frequent use, the harsh acidity of the lemon will wear away at tooth enamel, even to the point of permanently weakening and damaging teeth.
- Apple Cider Vinegar Solution – Mix 1 tablespoon
of ACV with 8 ounces of water, and gargle or drink to combat bad breath. ACV is an antibacterial and also has some pH balancing properties. But like using lemons for fresher breath, we do not recommend doing this regularly due to the high acidity which will wear away tooth enamel over time.
- Cloves – These potent seeds have natural antibacterial properties, and chewing or sucking on whole cloves can freshen breath quickly. Some people do not like the strong taste or scent of cloves, however, and it’s important to stay away from clove oil or powdered cloves – they are extremely concentrated and may cause burns on the soft tissues of the mouth.
Long Term Solutions for Bad Breath
For chronic halitosis, good dental hygiene and care are integral for improving your breath.
- Brush and Floss Daily. Brush morning and night for 2 minutes each, and floss before bedtime. Combined, brushing and flossing take just a handful of minutes every day, and we truly cannot overstate their importance in oral health and hygiene – and that includes better breath all day, every day.
- Visit Your Dentist Regularly. Regular dental checkups help detect and treat any issues before they become more serious and costly, including ones that result in chronic bad breath. Routine cleanings help ensure your teeth are clean of missed areas.
- Quit Smoking. Period.
- Thoroughly Clean Dental Appliances Daily – Retainers, invisible aligners, mouthguards and dentures all need to be cleaned thoroughly and daily. Otherwise, bacteria can linger and multiply on the appliances, resulting in bad breath and posing an infection risk for your teeth and gums.
If bad breath persists, visit your dentist. Chronic bad breath is often a sign of underlying oral health issues. For good oral health and for fighting bad breath either long term or on-the-go, the most important thing you can do is to keep up a good oral hygiene routine. Don’t forget to brush and floss daily, and visit your dentist twice a year!
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