Morning breath is a common occurrence, but all-day halitosis isn’t something you should accept as the norm. Even if garlic and onions are on your daily menu, there could be other reasons your mouth reeks. Dr. Margaret Mitchell, DDS, founder of Chicago-based Mitchell Dental Spa, says you don’t have to live with bad breath and shares her top halitosis-halting dental health tips.
Brush your teeth
If you’re a teeth-brushing slacker, it’s no wonder you have smelly breath. Dr. Mitchell says, “Step one in keeping your breath minty fresh is to follow the steps of basic care and cleaning for your teeth and gums — this includes brushing after meals, flossing daily and scheduling bi-annual dental appointments to keep cavities and bacteria at bay.” The dental expert also warns that halitosis may be a sign of a serious dental issue. “Anything from a rotting tooth to an abscess to unclean dentures can turn breath really nasty, and for more serious dental problems it is extremely important to seek professional treatment,” she adds.
DIY bad breath tests:
Wipe a piece of gauze on your tongue — if it is has a yellow tinge or smells, you have high levels of sulfides in your body causing the bad breath.
Lick the back of your hand… wait 10 minutes and smell your hand — the sulfur salts (if present) will remain and leave your hand smelling bad.
Floss your back teeth and smell the floss.
Face the facts
Do your friends keep their distance from you when you’re discussing the latest reality TV series? Do they complain you have bad breath and you have no idea what they are talking about? Dr. Mitchell says you may be oblivious to your bad breath and advises doing a bad breath test. “Consider checking in with your dentist and using a bad breath meter such as asHalimeter or OralChroma because these machines measure the number of sulfides in your breath,” she explains. “You can also do a breath test at home.”