Change Your Breath From Bad to Good
Got bad breath? Here's how to make it better.
See Your Dentist, Take Care of Your Teeth and Gums
Nixed medical causes for your bad breath? Keep your scheduled dental appointments.
"You really want to see your dentist every six months or at least yearly," Frangella says.
Good oral hygiene also is key to fighting bad breath. Ideally, you should brush and floss after every meal to help reduce the odor-causing bacteria in your mouth. While a regular toothbrush works just as well if you use it as recommended, Frangella recommends using an electric toothbrush, for two reasons.
"First, because many electric toothbrushes have timers on them and the majority of people do not brush their teeth for the right length of time. And secondly, because electric toothbrushes distribute a uniform motion, which I find helps remove plaque more efficiently than when my patients use manual toothbrushes."
Some mouthwashes or mouth rinses can help prevent cavities and reduce bacteria-causing plaque and fight bad breath. Stick to an antiseptic or antibacterial rinse that kills bacteria, rather than a cosmetic rinse that just focuses on freshening the breath.
Watch What You Eat
What you eat affects what you exhale. That's because as food is digested, it's absorbed into your bloodstream and then is expelled by your lungs when you breathe.
Eat a healthy, balanced diet and regular meals. Certain diets -- such as extreme fasting and very low-carb diets -- can give you bad-smelling breath.
Consider snacking on raw carrots, celery, or apple slices. "It's good to have a nice watery vegetable in there - something like celery - that will help clear your mouth of debris," Frangella says.
Avoid breath busters such as garlic, onions, and some other spicy foods. Chronic garlic users cannot only have chronic bad breath, they also often have body odor, Woodall says.