Q:

What are some tips for getting rid of bad breath?

A:

Quick Answer

People get rid of bad breath by brushing and flossing regularly, scraping their tongues, drinking plenty of water, chewing sugar-free gum after meals, and eating breath-friendly foods, such as apples and carrots. Habits such as smoking or certain health conditions such as diabetes and acid reflux sometimes cause bad breath.

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Full Answer

Regular oral-hygiene habits, such as brushing after every meal and flossing twice a day, reduce bad breath. Brushing removes the bacteria that often cause bad breath. If it's not possible to brush after every meal, swishing water around the mouth can help. Mouthwash helps remove the odor-causing bacteria. Another tip is to use a tongue scraper to remove the bacteria from the crevices of the tongue.

Drinking water throughout the day keeps the mouth moist to reduce bad breath. Raw whole foods, especially those that are crunchy, such as apples, help keep breath fresh. It's best to eat these foods at the end of a meal. Sugarless gum is another after-dinner option that is better than a mint. The sugar in mints supports the odor-causing bacteria in the mouth.

If proper hygiene and food choices don't help, a physician can determine if the bad breath has a medical cause. Infections in the respiratory system, stomach problems, liver disease and diabetes are all potential health problems that sometimes contribute to bad breath. Controlling these conditions may help reduce bad breath.

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