Bad breath isn’t solely a men’s health problem, but guys do seem to be more oblivious to the problem when they have it. I once worked with a guy whose bad breath could knock you out from fifty yards. The problem was, the Halitosis Kid, as we called him, was the boss, so no one ever had the balls to tell him why all the staff dreaded having a one-to-one meeting with him in his office. Bad breath like that can be really embarrassing, but you can’t always smell your own bad breath. If you are sitting there wondering if your lack of close friends might be down to halitosis, lick the back of your hand, leave it to dry for ten minutes, and then give it a sniff. If the back of your hand smells like a rotten egg, read on, and I’ll give you ten ways to cure bad breath.
1. Go to the dentist
If you do have killer bad breath, then your first port of call should be your dentist. If you have a dental problem that is causing your halitosis, then, sorry, but none of these other tips are going to do you a lot of good. Bad breath can also be caused by internal issues, so your dentists might refer you to your GP.
2. Brush your teeth twice a day
Brush your teeth every morning and every evening, and brush them properly! It shouldn’t be a ten second quick flick around with the toothbrush. You need to be brushing for at least two minutes every time. Make sure you get to the awkward teeth at the back of your mouth too, because that’s where food particles and bacteria love to hide.
3. Clean your tongue as well
You can get some pretty manky gunk building up your tongue as well, so, when you brush your teeth, give your tongue a clean as well. You can buy fancy tongue scrapers, but all you really need to do is brush your tongue with your toothbrush. Alternatively, quiet a lot of tooth brushes have a tongue cleaning part of them on the reverse of the head.
4. Floss every day
Let’s be honest here, flossing is a time consuming and fiddly job, so I’m not sure how many people really do it every day, but if people are turning green in in front of your eyes when you speak, it might well be worth getting into the habit of flossing daily. The bacteria that cause bad breath feed on food particles and flossing will remove any pieces of food that may have got stuck between your teeth.
5. Rinse with a mouthwash
Don’t be fooled by the TV ads into thinking that a quick slosh of mouthwash around your mouth will solve all your dental hygiene problems, because it won’t. An antibacterial mouthwash, used in conjunction with proper cleaning of the teeth, can be beneficial, but on its own, all it will do is temporally mask the bad breath. It will help, but it’s not a cure-all for halitosis and dental problems.
6. Drink more water
Being hydrated can cause bad breath too. You need plenty of water to flush away both the bacteria in your mouth and the food particles that they feed on. The usual advice is that you should drink at least eight glasses of water every day. That may seem a lot, but it also has many other health benefits as well.
7. Eat more crunchy fruit and raw vegetables
Here’s another health tip that will do more than just freshen your breath. Eating crisp, crunchy foods, like apples, raw carrots and celery, will help to remove food particles from between your teeth. All you need to do is finish your lurch with some crispy raw food and it will help stop you developing bad breath in the afternoon. It will also do you a lot of good in other ways too, and get you closer to your five a day portions of fresh fruit and vegetables.
8. Chew gum
Chewing gum can help get rid of bad breath too, and it’s not just the peppermint that ides the smell. When you chew gum, you produce more saliva, and that helps flush way the bacteria and the food particles. It should be sugar free gum, though, because sugar will only make bad breath worse.
9. Eat parsley
Don’t leave that little sprig of parsley on your plate when you finish your pub lunch, because the green garnish could save from a halitosis embarrassment later in the day. Parsley contains chlorophyll, which acts as a breath deodoriser, so give it a thorough chew and it will help keep your breath fresh.
10. Quit smoking
Lots of things can make your breath smell bad, such as garlic, coffee, alcohol and, of course smoking. I’m not about to turn this blog into an anti-smoking campaign, but you should be aware that smoking is especially bad for your breath, because it dries out your mouth as well it leaving a lingering tobacco smell.
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