Ask The Dentist: 'How Do I Keep My Breath Fresh?'
Ah, fresh breath – we all want it. But with as much as we tend to enjoy our coffee, garlic and tuna fish (not together we hope!), keeping our breath fresh throughout the day can be a challenge.
But fear not, there are some things you can do to keep fresh. From munching on vegetables to knowing how to floss properly, we’ve got you covered.
1. Go for the green: You may have heard that munching on foods with a healthy dose of chlorophyll (like parsley) is a great way to reduce bad breath.
Well, not exactly. The idea such herbs counteract bad breath is outdated and incorrect say researchers.
However, eating green leafy vegetables, or any water-rich veggie or fruit is a great way to keep your breath in check because the water in those foods help with saliva production … something that does help keep your breath smelling clean.
2. Brush or scrape the tongue: Your tongue is a wonderful collector of gunk. So, to keep your breath smelling fresh all day, you’ve got to keep it clean.
Your dentist may have a favorite tongue scraper, so ask if they’ve got a recommendation. You can, of course, just brush your tongue as well – just be sure to aim for the back of your tongue where most of the baddies tend to linger.
Worried you’ll gag? Here’s a tip for those of you with a sensitive gag reflex: keep your mouth nearly closed while brushing your tongue – doing so tends to engage our swallow-reflex instead of our gag reflex.
3. Carry the right tools: Keep a tooth brush, toothpaste, and floss on hand for when you have a delicious garlicky meal. If you’re feeling ambitious, why not keep the aforementioned tongue scraper on hand as well.
4. Water is your friend: We have a theory. People had better breath when water fountains were ubiquitous.
The constant availability of water was a great thing. Remember asking to leave the classroom just to get a drink of water? Unfortunately, many of us haven’t even seen a water fountain since grade school.
So, pack your own bottle. Use the sink, and fill up. Sure, you can purchase bottled water, but why waste all that plastic.
Drink more water! Good for you, and good for your breath!
(BONUS!) Don’t smoke: Yes. Don’t smoke. Not good for you in any way whatsoever.