How do I get rid of bad breath?
If I eat this garlic bread, will I automatically get “garlic breath”?
Why do I always have morning breath? It’s embarrassing!
If you suffer from bad breath, you probably have more questions than answers.
Well, sit tight. By the time you’re done reading this, you’ll know exactly what causes bad breath and how to keep it from stinking up your daily life.
Best of all, you’ll be in-the-know about the 1-minute bad breath cure that dentists can’t stop talking about!
What Is Halitosis (Bad Breath)?
Everyone gets bad breath from time to time, but if you’re constantly dealing with stinky breath, then it’s considered halitosis, which is really just a fancy term for chronic bad breath.
Halitosis is a big deal. Not only is it a sign of an unhealthy mouth, but it can also “reek havoc” on your relationships. No one wants to be hiding behind their hand instead of interacting with others.
Halitosis Really Stinks
1 in 4 Americans has chronic halitosis
8.5 in 10 people say bad breath is the most important thing to avoid when meeting someone for the first time
Bad breath sufferers are 60% more likely to suffer from stress than non-sufferers
43% of people believe fresh breath matters most before a date
What Causes Bad Breath?
Volatile Sulfur Compounds (VSCs) are the root of bad breath. These stinky sulfur compounds are produced from bacteria in the mouth. Here are 4 main contributors to VSC production:
1. Dry Mouth: this can be caused by dehydration, smoking, mouth breathing, advanced age, or the medicines you take. In fact, thousands of prescription and over-the-counter medications can cause dry mouth. See the list.
2. Poor Oral Hygiene: We’ve all been there. Sitting in the dentist chair, vowing to do a better job at flossing starting RIGHT NOW. But then what happens? Right. We fall back into our regular oral health habits. If your mouth isn’t getting proper oral care, you’re setting the stage for gingivitis (gum disease). It all starts with bacteria in plaque buildup. Bacteria = bad breath.
3. Pungent Foods Like Garlic & Onions: Can’t resist that plate of pasta made with garlic and onions? (Yeah, us either.) Unfortunately, these foods are notorious for causing bad breath because they naturally contain sulfur compounds.
4. Illness: Post-nasal drip, whether from colds or allergies, is a major cause of bad breath. Other illnesses can also give you bad breath, such as diabetes, which gives the breath an unpleasant “fruity” smell, and tonsil stones, which give off a “dirty diaper” smell.
Can You Smell Your Own Breath?
If you’re reading this, you may already suspect that you have bad breath. But if you’re not sure, try one of these tests:
Lick the inside of your wrist, let it dry for a moment, and then smell it.
Floss between your back two teeth. (This is where food often gets trapped and breaks down into odorous bacteria.) Then smell the floss. What you smell is likely what other people smell.
A surprising 80-90 percent of Volatile Sulfur Compounds (VSCs) live on the tongue. It’s the perfect hangout spot for bacteria because of its nooks and crannies. To see if your bad breath is coming from your tongue, invert a spoon and run it along your tongue, back to front. If the biofilm that’s removed smells bad, so does your breath!
(Instead of a spoon, you can also use the Oxyfresh Oolitt® Elite tongue scraper. It’s 75% more effective at removing bad breath molecules vs. brushing the tongue.)
The easiest way to tell if you have bad breath can also be the most awkward: just ask someone! Of course, use your judgment here. Checker at the grocery store? Not the best idea. Your partner or best friend? Perfect. And if you have young children, then you know … they’re sometimes honest to a fault and will definitely tell you if you have stinky breath.
Bad Breath Myth-Buster! You’ve seen how it’s done on TV: you just blow right into your hand to see if you have stinky breath. This works, right? Wrong. In reality, our brains become accustomed (aka “immune”) to our own smells. As we talk, we can’t smell our own breath.
7 Easy Ways to Fight Bad Breath
1. Stay Hydrated
Bacteria thrive in dry conditions. Keeping your mouth moist will stop bad breath molecules from overtaking your mouth and help to wash away any lingering food particles.
Best beverages for your breath:
- Green & black teas
Worst beverages for your breath:
- Colas & fruit juices
- Sports Drinks
2. Make Floss Your Friend
According to a study by the American Dental Association (ADA), only 4 in 10 Americans floss daily, and 20 percent of Americans never floss at all. Yikes! The ADA recommends flossing at least once a day. With a little effort upfront, it will soon become a habit. You can do it! (And you’ll score some major brownie points with your dentist.)
3. Break Up with Your Boozy Mouthwash. Ironically, the mouthwash you’re using to fight bad breath could actually be making it worse. That’s because most store-brand mouthwashes are loaded with alcohol, some as high as 26.9 percent! Alcohol is a drying agent. As it burns and kills the germs, it dries out the mouth. The result? Shortly after swishing, even more Volatile Sulfur Compounds are formed. To truly prevent bad breath, switch to an alcohol-free mouthwash.
4. Keep Your Dental Appointments
Your dentist is your best ally in your dental health, so be sure to keep your appointments. If you have an untreated cavity in your mouth, that decay could be causing bad breath. How often should you go to the dentist? It depends. People with good oral health may only need to go in once a year for a cleaning, while those with advanced gum disease may need to go in every 4 months.
5. Eat a Fiber-rich Diet
Foods high in fiber can help prevent bad breath. Unfortunately, most people only eat about half of the daily recommended amount of fiber. (25 grams for women; 38 grams for men.)
Here’s a list of some healthy high-fiber foods. Bonus points for the ones that contain vitamin C, as this ingredient also works to fight bad breath.
6. Clean Your Tongue
Remember when we told you 80-90 percent of Volatile Sulfur Compounds (VSCs) live on the tongue? That’s why it’s so important to not just clean your teeth but also your tongue. Brushing can only do so much. Use a spoon or a tongue scraper to remove 75 percent more odorous bacteria.
7. Quit smoking
No surprise that stomping out the habit will help to freshen your breath. If you need help quitting, make an appointment with your doctor. You can also check out these quit smoking tips.
Is There Hope for Garlic Breath?
Sulphuric compounds give garlic its health benefits, yummy flavor, and unfortunately, that unpleasant smell to the breath. Some of those sulfur compounds can be eliminated right away by flossing and cleaning your tongue after meals. You can also chew on parsley or suck on a lemon wedge to neutralize garlic odors.
However, one of the compounds in garlic, called allyl methyl sulfide (AMS), is absorbed into the bloodstream as your body metabolizes the garlic. It goes from the blood, into your lungs, and then that stinky smell comes out when you exhale. The garlic smell from AMS can last a few hours to a few days.
So the bottom line is, while you can get rid of most of the sulfur-smelling compounds of garlic, you can’t get rid of one of them (AMS) right away. You’ll have to decide just how enticing that marinara sauce really is, and then plan accordingly.
What About Morning Breath?
Morning breath is caused by a lack of saliva. If you snore or breathe through your mouth, your morning breath will be worse. You can help morning breath by making sure your mouth is clean before you go to bed. Also, keep a glass of water on your nightstand and swish upon waking. Then brush your teeth.
Smile Tip: brush your teeth before you have coffee. Coffee is acidic, and it can be tough on your enamel if you brush immediately after having your cup of joe. (You’ll want to wait at least 30 minutes.) Instead, scrape your tongue and swish with water immediately after coffee to spare your enamel.
Introducing the 1-Minute Bad Breath Solution
Dentist-recommended Oxyfresh mouthwashes are unique in fighting bad breath because they neutralize bad breath at the source.
These patented formulas with Oxygene® literally dissolve Volatile Sulfur Compounds (VSCs) on contact, leaving you with long-lasting, kissably-close fresh breath.
Swish for 1 minute and enjoy fresh breath for hours. Easy!
Choose from 5 unique mouthwash formulas … all dye-free, alcohol-free and powered by Oxygene®, a safe, non-toxic ingredient that neutralizes bad breath molecules and fights oral bacteria in the mouth, giving you healthier teeth and gums.
Oxyfresh mouthwashes walk the talk, beating a leading store brand in a double-blind clinical study on the gum health of periodontitis patients.
Find out what dentists and fresh breath fans around the world have known for more than 30 years. When it comes to curing bad breath, nothing beats Oxyfresh!