Bad breath is no joke. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to stop stinky breath before it starts. Here’s how you can avoid being an April Fool every day:
Watch what you eat
You probably already know that what you put in your mouth can give you foul breath long after the plates have been cleared. Garlic, onions and coffee are a few of the usual culprits, but sneakier suspects include eggs, tomatoes, red meats, peppers, pastrami and cheese. You don’t have to give them up, but you may want to start brushing after meals or snacks if you’ve just enjoyed some particularly fragrant foods.
If you feel like you have cotton wadded up in your mouth, there’s a good chance your breath probably stinks. Dry mouth is a major contributor to halitosis and can be caused by anything from dehydration to prescription medication. Saliva naturally helps wash away excess food and bacteria, so your mouth can start smelling stale when it’s not there.
Stub out that cigarette
Tobacco is a double whammy when it comes to bad breath. Not only does it cause dry mouth, it simply smells bad.3 Consider talking to your physician or dentist about ways to quit.
Change it up
Sometimes, bad breath can simply be a symptom of faulty flossing and brushing. If you’re not already brushing twice a day, now is the time to start. Likewise, add daily flossing to your oral health routine. Already doing this? You may want to consider brushing after lunch.
Other dry mouth contributors include stress, alcohol, breathing through the mouth instead of the nose, and certain illnesses. Mouthwash and toothpaste can mask halitosis for a little while, but to truly get to the root of the problem, halitosis sufferers need to find the cause. Anyone can have dry mouth occasionally, such as when you are anxious, but if it persists, it may be brought on by some systemic illness or the medications you take. Have a discussion with your physician or dentist about the potential root causes of persistent dry mouth or halitosis.
If you’ve tried all of these and your dragon breath remains unslain, try keeping a log of the foods you eat, the medications you take and your daily routine to see if any of it correlates with your halitosis flare-ups. Discuss the problem with your dentist; he or she may be able to provide a recommendation or some insight into the condition.