Guest post contributed by Claire, on behalf of TheInvisibleOrthodontist.com.au, a nationwide group of dentists, specializing in dental treatments and invisible braces such as the invisalign australia.
- First, begin regularly chewing a sugarless gum to stimulate your saliva flow. Saliva contains antibiotics that can decrease the levels of halitosis-causing bacteria in your mouth; it is the body’s natural mouthwash. For the same reason, make sure that you drink at least eight cups of water per day. This will help you stay sufficiently hydrated to produce saliva normally; it will also help rinse food particles from behind and between your teeth.
- Second, try using an antiseptic, plaque-reducing mouthwash. Although it will not cure preexisting halitosis, a quality mouthwash can help prevent it or stop it in its beginning stages. You may also want to try brushing your teeth with baking soda, or using toothpaste that contains baking soda. Remember to check that every dental product you buy has a seal of approval from the American Dental Association (ADA). If it does not, consult with your dentist before using it to try to treat halitosis.
- Third, eat plenty of natural, high-fiber snacks, like carrots, celery, oranges or apples to help prevent the formation of plaque. Daily exercise is also important; it will help keep your body more healthy, which will strengthen your immune system and improve your ability to produce saliva and fight bacteria.
- Fourth, increase your intake of foods rich in vitamin C. This is particularly important for smokers, since the nicotine in cigarettes destroys vitamin C. It also weakens your lungs and damages your salivary glands, both of which (among other issues) can contribute strongly to your halitosis problem.
- Fifth, carry with you a portable, battery-operated electronic flosser or oral irrigator. Use it before business meetings, interviews, dates and similar events to thoroughly remove plaque from between your teeth. It is small enough to be carried in a briefcase, purse or suitcase, and is one of the most effective last-minute strategies to prevent or cure bad breath.
- Sixth, try rinsing your mouth with a solution of 50 percent water and 50 percent hydrogen peroxide. Swish a tablespoon of this solution back and forth in your mouth for at least one minute. This method is designed to release free oxygen, which can kill many of the bacteria that can cause halitosis.
- Seventh, talk to your dentist about the possibility of mixing an anti-odor substance like cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC), zinc chloride or chlorhexidine into your ordinary over-the-counter mouthwash. Some researchers have suggested that zinc salts combined with ionone, which is an ingredient in tomato juice, can help fight off both plaque and halitosis. Although the effectiveness of these treatments has not yet been unquestionably proven by impartial scientific testing, some have reported success with their use. Of course, you should never attempt these types of alternative treatments without prior approval from your dentist.
If none of these methods successfully treat your halitosis, consult with your dentist. In some cases, the condition can actually be a symptom of a more complex underlying problem, such as sinusitis or gum disease. Your dentist will be able to determine the exact cause of your bad breath and prescribe an effective treatment plan for it.