Did you know that August 6th heralds National Fresh Breath Day? Every year on this date, we take the opportunity to create awareness by celebrating the virtues of fresh breath! Falling on Friday this year, we want you to know that good breath is a sign of good oral health, and we are always down to promote that as you start the weekend on a fresh note.
To achieve your best breath means practicing good daily oral hygiene to reap its benefits. As dental professionals, we can vouch for fighting bad breath every day by establishing good daily oral habits and sticking to them. Your smile (and those around you) will thank you!
What Causes Bad Breath?
If you’ve ever had dental decay or gum disease, you will likely be familiar with the odor of bad breath. Conversely, a healthy mouth smells fresher! Of course, sometimes the strong-smelling foods we regularly enjoy (like garlic and onions) can interfere with good-smelling breath, even though your teeth and gums are healthy.
National Fresh Breath Day is a good day to think about ways you can keep your breath smelling fresh, clean and healthy. Here’s what you can do to ensure your best breath:
- Brush after eating
- Floss right before bed
- Regularly gargle and rinse with a minty mouthwash
- Keep your saliva at optimal healthy levels by chewing sugar-free gum to keep your mouth moist and drink plenty of water
- Visit your dentist routinely
Taming Oral Bacteria
Brushing at least twice a day with minty toothpaste and flossing once a day can keep dental plaque to a minimum. The bacteria in plaque is what causes your breath to smell, so take a few minutes every day to get rid of it. And don’t forget the bacteria coating your tongue! You can use a tongue scraper or toothbrush to clear away the bacteria once a day. First thing in the morning is a great time since bacteria thrive while you sleep! And don’t forget to rinse afterward with a good smelling mouthwash before starting your day.
Healthy Saliva Levels
You can also freshen up your breath by chewing some sugar-free gum during the day to stimulate saliva production. Dry mouth creates stinky breath, and chewing can keep the mouth moist and smelling fresher. It also means drinking plenty of water to hydrate the mouth (and body) so you feel better and your smile smells better. It is especially helpful if you suffer from post-nasal drip, which can cause bad breath. Hydrating dilutes oral secretions, and you’ll find yourself with better breath.
Along with your daily oral care, you want to keep all scheduled dental cleanings and exams. Only your hygienist’s special instruments can remove hardened plaque, known as tartar or calculus, made for the task. Getting rid of this hard substance will bring you better breath! And if you still smoke or use tobacco, consider quitting. It’s hard to get good-smelling breath if your mouth is frequently exposed to tobacco and its chemicals. Also, smoking dries out the mouth, which only serves to allow bacteria to flourish. Alcohol consumption should be limited, as it, unfortunately, dries out the body.
If (despite all your best efforts) you still experience unpleasant breath, you might have a medical condition or even be reacting to certain medications. In that case, checking in with your general physician to see what is going on can help.
Spread the Word
This August 6th, consider giving a shout-out to your dental team for helping you achieve your best breath, and use the hashtag #NationalFreshBreathDay when you’re on social media to spread the word about better oral health and fresher breath. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call if you need help with your breath; we love helping your smile thrive!