Bad breath, or halitosis, is a condition that we all suffer from at one time or another. Causes of bad breath are many. Strong smelling foods such as garlic or onions, very low carb diets, medication, poor dental hygiene, cigarettes, just to name a few, can contribute to bad breath. Many of us wake in the morning with a really terrible mouth. That’s because we have less saliva production during the night, and saliva is very important to flush out bacteria.
The occasional bad breath, okay, but what if your problem lingers? What to do? How do you get rid of bad breath fast?
Here are five easy things you can incorporate into your daily routine today to help tackle the problem and cure bad breath.
1. Regularly use a honey mouth rinse.
I have included an awesome recipe at the end of this post. It is inexpensive, easy to make and very effective. An antimicrobial mouth rinse is important if you have problems with an excess of plaque. All you need to do is take a mouth full, swish it around, and spit it out.
2. Brush your teeth and tongue at least twice a day.
Brushing your teeth and tongue will remove the bacteria that cause bad breath in the first place. You can also buy an inexpensive tongue scraper. They can be found at most pharmacies. I’ve found that homemade toothpaste is superior to commercial toothpaste. Products like turmeric, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, coconut oil and other inexpensive items can be combined to make an excellent toothpaste. In a future post, I will provide a great toothpaste recipe.
3. Floss at least once a day.
Flossing is mandatory. It reaches where a brush cannot and gets out hidden food particles and removes plaque, a coating of bacteria that forms around the tooth. Flossing also helps prevent periodontal disease — another common cause of bad breath. Read the post – Gum disease? Honey can be a tooth saver!
4. Drink lots of water.
Not drinking enough water can lead to dry mouth (xerostomia) and cause bad breath. So drink up. Water is one of the single most important things you can do to improve not only your mouth health but also your overall health. It is also one of the easiest ways to get rid of halitosis if hydration is the cause.
5. Visit your dentist regularly.
I knew you were just waiting for this one, weren’t you 🙂 At least every six months, see your dentist for a teeth cleaning and an exam. Your dentist can check your mouth and teeth for cavities and gum disease that cause bad breath. If you are very disciplined about oral hygiene, you can probably visit once a year, but you would have to make that call.
Now, back to the honey mouth rinse I mentioned at the outset. I used to use mouthwash or a hydrogen peroxide solution, and I was “good to go”. But something changed for me – my body could not tolerate these solutions anymore. I ended up with strep throat when I used mouthwash because the good and bad bacteria were destroyed, leaving an unbalanced situation in my mouth. Thankfully, I discovered honey.
As I’ve mentioned before in other posts, honey is a gentle yet effective antifungal and antibacterial product that is important to cure bad breath. This means it inhibits bacterial action, thus blocking oral bacteria that contribute to a foul-smelling breath. You can even add a bit to honey to your favorite mouthwash because it will kill germs and helps clean your teeth and/or dentures.
Here is my favorite honey mouth rinse.
I try to use it every morning and evening, if possible, or after brushing. It will help to get rid of bad breath and contribute to an overall sense of well-being. You’ll need:
Honey Mouth Rinse
15 drops of peppermint or spearmint essential oil
1 tsp dried peppermint or spearmint
1 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp crushed cloves
2 cups apple cider vinegar or distilled water
2 tbs honey (Manuka, if possible)
Mix all ingredients except the honey and the mint oil. Soak for a week (I know, a bit long, but you will be so glad you had the patience), then strain the mixture and put the strained liquid in a bowl. You can throw away the herbs. Add the honey and mint oils and stir til well blended. Pour the mouthwash into a bottle or jar. I like to use a decorative container that looks pretty on my bath counter. It is now ready to use. No need to refrigerate. With regular use, your mouth will thank you, it will help you get rid of halitosis and your mouth will smell as fresh as a baby’s :-).
What homemade solutions have you used to clean your breath? What brands of mouthwash do you find work well? And, what remedies do you use to get rid of bad breath? Leave a comment below.