Bad breath, also called halitosis, is a rampant problem in this country. In fact, it has been estimated that as many as 90 million Americans suffer from bad breath chronically. Furthermore, according to surveys, Americans spend about $33 million annually on mints, gum, mouthwashes, toothpastes and bad breath products, which fail to remedy the problem most of the time.

Because bad breath is a genuine health problem, it’s better to address it seriously than try to ignore it by covering it up with minty aromas. Bad breath can negatively affect many aspects of a person’s life. Because foul breath is off-putting to others, it may be very socially isolating. It can also cause unpleasant conflicts in romantic relationships. Fortunately, there are many things that someone can do to remedy the problem. Here are some of the best ways to fight bad breath.

 Rinse After Eating

After you eat, your teeth are left with a film of food residue over them that feeds bacteria and causes unpleasant odors. It is recommended that you rinse your mouth thoroughly after meals and snacks, particularly sugary ones, in order to flush the food residue from your teeth. This keeps bacterial numbers down, keeps breath fresh and helps to protect your teeth.

Acidic Foods and Drinks

Some popular acidic foods and drinks can actually cause bad breath on their own. Your mouth naturally tends toward an alkaline pH, ideally staying at 6.5 or higher. Acidic foods lower this number, upsetting the delicate pH balance and allowing odor-causing bacteria to flourish. Try consuming fewer of these things or eliminating them from your diet all together.

Quit Smoking

Cigarette smoking is a major cause of halitosis in adults. Tobacco taints the breath with its pungent aromas and also causes dry mouth. A lack of saliva flow leads to increased mouth acidity and favorable conditions for odor-causing bacteria to breed in.

Keep Well Hydrated

Staying well hydrated is important so as to prevent dehydration. Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is one of the more common causes of halitosis, so maintaining a moist oral environment is important. Also when the mouth gets dry the volatile sulfur compounds that are responsible for bad breath odors will evaporate into the air more rapidly.

Correct Brushing

Brushing seems like a simple affair, but there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. In fact, many people don’t realize that they do it the wrong way. Shoddy brushing leaves behind all sorts of plaque and food residue, both of which are major contributors to bad breath. You should always brush your teeth in small circles for maximum effectiveness, not strictly up and down or side to side. Furthermore, brushing should last a full two minutes for the sake of thoroughness.

About the Author: Dr. Dailley is a practicing dentist and halitosis specialist in the Bay Area. After receiving a degree in dentistry as well as Cell & Molecular Biology, Dr. Dailley opened a practice where patients that want to can seek his medical advice and aid. He also has an online store featuring the most advanced halitosis remedies.