mother and daughter brushing teeth

How to stop and prevent bad breath

If you have bad breath, don’t be embarrassed: it’s a common problem that can usually be easily avoided. Here’s a simple guide to help you.

What causes bad breath?

Bad breath starts at the back of the mouth, where sulphur-producing bacteria hide under the surface of the tongue. Poor oral hygiene, having food stuck between your teeth, gum disease and tooth decay all contribute to bad breath. Other, less common, causes include:

  • Dry mouth (xerostomia), where your mouth produces less saliva
  • Gastrointestinal problems, where stomach bacteria produces odour
  • Crash dieting, where your body breaks down fat, which releases foul-smelling acids

Either way, maintaining a good dental care routine will go a long way to keep your breath fresh – so here’s a look at how you can do just that:

Brushing for fresh breath

  • Use a fluoride toothpaste like the new Pepsodent Germicheck 8, which contains CPC technology to fight germs that can cause bad breath. The formula fights germs that are not just on your teeth, but also on the tongue, cheeks, and gums to give you 8 scientifically proven benefits, including 12 hours’ fresh breath. It also contains the goodness of natural ingredients clove and neem oil.
  • Brush your teeth for at least two minutes twice a day, or after each meal – but wait for at least 20 minutes after you’ve consumed acidic food and drinks. If you brush too soon, while acids may still be on your tooth enamel, you may damage your enamel in its vulnerable state.
  • Replace your toothbrush at least every three months.

Extra steps for teeth hygiene

Many people stop at tooth brushing, but there are a few more important steps you can take to keep your teeth and gums healthy and eliminate bad breath:

  • Bacteria and food particles hide under a thin layer of mucus in the tongue. Make sure you brush your tongue as well as your teeth.
  • Use dental floss to clean between your teeth and dislodge any trapped food.
  • Round off your brushing with a refreshing mouthwash rinse

Top tips to prevent bad breath

  • Cut down on coffee.
  • If you smoke, try cutting down or giving up.
  • Drink plenty of water: it will stimulate saliva flow.
  • Cut down on alcohol.

If you think you have chronic bad breath, consult your doctor, as you may be suffering from tooth decay or a medical condition. But don’t worry, bad breath is manageable, whether chronic or short-term. Follow these simple steps and you too can enjoy fresh breath and confident smiles every day.