Do you need some tips on fighting bad breath – as many of us do? Well, let’s begin by assuming that you only have a garden-variety (non-medical) problem with bad breath. Many of us have bad breath simply because we have certain habits or use certain products that exacerbate the problem.
There are no serious medical conditions involved, so your dental physician is not required. If that is the case with you, take heart – most of us have a bout of bad breath from time to time, so first of all stop worrying.
What do you normally do when you perceive that you have bad breath, or if someone points it out to you? If you are like most of us, you probably go out and buy a strong commercial mouthwash to gargle with.
This may be news to you, but using a mouthwash to address bad breath is ineffective. In fact, it can make the problem a lot worse. Most commercial mouthwash products contain dyes, flavoring and other chemicals that can irritate the gums, tongue, palate and the mouth’s mucous membranes.
However, the real problem lies in the fact that they also contain alcohol. Sure, the alcohol kills the bad breath-inducing bacteria in your mouth, but the fact is that they return in no time at all. The reason is that the alcohol in such mouthwashes causes your mouth to dry up – and dry mouth is one of the foremost causes of bad breath. This means that you get into a futile cycle of repetition.
If you need to freshen your breath and wish to avoid the problems that commercial mouthwash products cause, you can whip up your own breath-freshening rinse. In fact, a few drops of peppermint oil in a glass of water will do the trick.
This simple concoction will not kill the bacteria that cause bad breath, but it will sweeten your breath instantly. Alternatively, you can try using tea tree oil or myrrh, which have excellent oral deodorant properties. Spearmint or ginger are good alternatives if you are not a big fan of peppermint oil.
You should also start rinsing your mouth with salt water on a regular basis. You probably know that this is a good way of relieving a sore throat, but salt water rinses can also eliminate bad breath. Of course, salt water may make you gag (as it does most people). If you find that you can’t overcome the gag reflex, try rinsing your mouth with lemon or lime water instead.
Here are two excellent grandmother’s recipes that have stood the test of time – one, drink a small amount of apple cider vinegar mixed in a glass of water at least once a day. Two, add a dash of baking soda to your toothpaste (baking soda absorbs bad odours, including those produced in the mouth.)
Chewing on parsley is also a great way to counter foul breath. Parsley contains chlorophyll, which we all know changes carbon dioxide into oxygen. When this process is initiated in the body, it helps the digestive tract to prevent gases and toxins from backing up.
Obviously, none of these methods will have much effect if you do not practice good dental hygiene. Be sure to brush and floss your teeth after every meal, and to not skimp on your visits to your dentist for routine cleaning and examination. Remember to brush the back of your tongue in a back-to-front sweeping motion, since the back of the tongue is where most bacteria that cause foul breath breed.