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How to avoid bad breath: Tips and tricks for a fresh smile

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Bad breath, also known as halitosis, can be embarrassing and unpleasant for you and those around you. It can affect your confidence, your social life, and your oral health.

But don’t worry, bad breath is not a permanent condition. There are many ways to prevent and treat it, and to keep your breath fresh and clean.

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What causes bad breath?

Bad breath can have many causes, such as:

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  • Poor oral hygiene. If you don’t brush your teeth, floss, and clean your tongue regularly, food particles and bacteria can build up in your mouth and cause bad odours.
  • Dry mouth. Saliva helps wash away food and bacteria from your mouth. If you have a dry mouth due to medications, smoking, or dehydration, you may have less saliva and more bad breath.
  • Foods and drinks. Certain foods and drinks, such as garlic, onions, coffee, alcohol, and spicy foods, can leave a strong smell in your mouth that lingers even after you brush your teeth.
  • Gum disease. Gum disease, also known as periodontitis, is an infection of the gums that can cause inflammation, bleeding, and bad breath.
  • Medical conditions. Some medical conditions, such as diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, sinus infections, acid reflux, and cancer, can affect your breath due to changes in your metabolism or the production of certain chemicals or gases.

How to prevent bad breath?

The best way to prevent bad breath is to practice good oral hygiene. Here are some tips to follow:

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  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Brush for two minutes each time and make sure to reach all surfaces of your teeth.
  • Floss daily to remove plaque and food particles from between your teeth and under your gum line.
  • Clean your tongue with a tongue scraper or a toothbrush to remove bacteria and dead cells that can cause bad odours.
  • Rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash after eating or drinking to freshen your breath and remove any residue.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your mouth moist and stimulate saliva production.
  • Chew sugar-free gum or mints to stimulate saliva production and mask bad odours.
  • Avoid foods and drinks that can cause bad breath, such as garlic, onions, coffee, alcohol, and spicy foods. If you do consume them, brush your teeth or rinse your mouth afterwards.
  • Quit smoking or using tobacco products. Smoking or chewing tobacco can dry out your mouth, stain your teeth, damage your gums, and cause bad breath.

How to treat bad breath?

If you have persistent or severe bad breath that does not improve with good oral hygiene, you may need to see a dentist or a doctor to find out the underlying cause and get proper treatment. Some possible treatments are:

  • Professional dental cleaning. A dentist can remove plaque and tartar from your teeth and gums that may be causing bad breath. You should have a dental cleaning at least once every six months or more often if recommended by your dentist.
  • Treatment for gum disease. A dentist can diagnose and treat gum disease with scaling and root planing (deep cleaning), antibiotics, surgery, or other methods depending on the severity of the condition.
  • Treatment for medical conditions. A doctor can diagnose and treat any medical conditions that may be affecting your breath with medications, lifestyle changes, surgery, or other methods depending on the type and severity of the condition.

Bad breath is not something you have to live with. By following these tips and tricks, you can prevent and treat bad breath and enjoy a fresh smile every day.


This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical or dental advice. The information in this article is based on data from this link [https://rb.gy/o32pc] and may not be accurate, complete, or up-to-date.

The article does not endorse any products, services, or treatments mentioned by Mayo Clinic. Readers should consult a dentist or a doctor before making any decisions or taking any actions related to their oral health or general health.

The Independent Ghana will not be liable for any damages or losses that may arise from the use or misuse of the information in this article.


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