Bad breath can be a real bummer in the summer. After all, no one wants to be “that person” – the one with the bad breath at the family barbecue.
So why does bad breath happen more in the hot summer months?
Don’t be too quick to blame the onions in mom’s potato salad! More often than not, dry mouth is the culprit behind summer bad breath. Sun exposure, sweating more and not hydrating enough can all leave us with a dry mouth.
Saliva is nature’s natural way of neutralizing bad breath molecules, so without enough, bad breath takes over. What’s worse, a dry mouth creates an oxygen-starved environment where bad breath molecules can multiply even faster. Yikes!
Fortunately, you don’t have to let summer dry mouth/bad breath spoil your fun in the sun. Just follow these 5 easy tips to avoid summer bad breath.
#1. Be Picky About What You Sippy
Hydrating is rule #1 if you want to keep your breath fresh in the summer and avoid the dreaded dry mouth. But hydration for bad breath doesn’t mean sucking down strawberry daiquiris. Alcohol dries out the mouth and can dehydrate the rest of your body too. (If you are indulging, stick to a 1–1 ratio: 1 glass of water for every cocktail. Not only will this save your breath, but it will also help protect your teeth from stains and cavities.)
Good old-fashioned water is your best bet to keep your mouth moist and your breath fresh, and during the summer, it’s especially important to stay hydrated. That means always toting your water bottle around, and drinking water before, during and after workouts or outdoor chores.
#2. Go Easy on Allergy Medications
Allergies don’t magically disappear in the summer. Sometimes they can be even worse this time of year due to outdoor molds, weeds, and strong winds that stir up pollen. If you’re worried about bad breath, you may want to think twice before reaching for an allergy pill. Many antihistamines come with the unfortunate side effect of dry mouth. Dry mouth = stinky mouth.
#3. Don’t Forget Your Tongue
Did you know that 80–90% of all bad breath comes from the tongue? This is a favorite spot for bacteria, food and dead skin cells to hang out and cause a stink. A dry mouth can produce even more bacteria. (How do you know if you have a buildup? You may have a white tongue or those little tongue bumps called papillae may be swollen). Fortunately, a tool as simple as an inverted kitchen spoon can clean your tongue. Or, save the spoons for your cereal and use a tongue cleaner. It’s uber-affordable, gets where a toothbrush can’t, and lasts for months!
#4. Curb Your Enthusiasm … For Sugar
From ice cream to strawberry rhubarb pie, food is such a fun – and tasty – part of our summer celebrations. But what happens when we eat too much of the sweet stuff? As bacteria that’s naturally found in the mouth starts to feast on sugars, it releases smelly sulfur compounds. If you’re a self-proclaimed sugar addict, your habit can actually change the bacterial population in your mouth, making you more susceptible to chronic bad breath and decay.
#5. Swish Away Summer Bad Breath
If dry mouth is giving your breath the summertime blues, it’s time to get swishing! But keep in mind, trying to combat bad breath with an ordinary, run-of-the-mill mouthwash will do you no good. In fact, it may just dry out your mouth even more and make your breath worse. Which mouthwashes do this? Any of them that have alcohol!
Our summertime go-to for fresh breath is Oxyfresh Fresh Breath Lemon Mint Mouthwash. It has absolutely NO alcohol to dry out the mouth, NO dyes to stain your pearly whites, NO sugar to encourage decay, plus it has a totally irresistible blend of natural essential oils for a refreshing swish you won’t be able to resist. And the result? Fresh breath that lasts all day! So go ahead and bring on the potato salad – we’ve got you covered.
P.S. Thirsty for more essentials about hydration for bad breath? Check out 7 simple home remedies for dry mouth.