Q:

What are some ways of killing germs in your mouth?

A:

Quick Answer

Ways to kill germs in the mouth include brushing teeth and tongue, eating foods that have antibacterial properties, and using oral hygiene products that include zinc. Good bacteria help promote oral health, while bad bacteria contribute to halitosis, or bad breath.

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Full Answer

Many germs that contribute to bad breath live on the back of the tongue. During twice daily teeth brushing, also brushing the tongue helps eliminate these bacteria. Tongue scrapers clear built-up bacteria from the tongue, working to eliminate malodorous causes by physically removing bacteria through gentle abrasion.

Some foods contribute to killing germs in the mouth, including grapes, cranberry juice, blackberries, apples and garlic.

Grapes, particularly raisins, have antimicrobial properties that kill oral bacteria. Cranberry juice reduces the expansion of biofilms on the tooth by slowing oral bacteria growth. Blackberries have antibacterial and antiviral properties that reduce oral pathogens. Apples work to clean the teeth, using the abrasive fibers of the fruit's flesh to scrape plaque from teeth, functioning in tandem with vitamins that help promote healthy gums. Garlic has antimicrobial attributes, including allicin, which fights periodontitis.

Oral hygiene products that include zinc, such as mouthwash and toothpaste, help reduce gases released by odor-causing bacteria, latching onto the bugs to prevent bad breath.

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