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  • Writer's pictureJessica Stevens, RDH

Conquer the Invisible Foe: Overcoming Bad Breath

Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is a common concern that can affect anyone at some point in their life. It can be embarrassing and have a negative impact on your self-esteem and relationships. However, the good news is that bad breath is often manageable and preventable! In this blog post, we'll explore the causes of bad breath and provide practical tips for overcoming it.

Understanding the Causes

Before we dive into how to overcome bad breath, it's essential to understand its potential causes:

  • Poor Oral Hygiene: Inadequate brushing and flossing can lead to a buildup of food particles and bacteria in your mouth, resulting in unpleasant odors.

  • Food Choices: Certain foods like garlic, onions, and spices can leave a lasting odor in your mouth. Digestive processes can also release odorous byproducts into your breath.

  • Dry Mouth: Saliva plays a crucial role in cleaning your mouth and neutralizing acids. A lack of saliva can contribute to bad breath.

  • Tobacco and Alcohol: Smoking and consuming alcohol can both lead to bad breath, as they dry out the mouth, leaving behind unpleasant odors.

  • Medical Conditions: Underlying health issues, such as sinus infections, respiratory problems, and gastrointestinal disorders can contribute to chronic bad breath.

Now, let's explore how you can overcome bad breath:

Maintain Excellent Oral Hygiene!

The foundation for combating bad breath is a consistent and thorough oral hygiene routine:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste

  • Use a tongue scraper to remove bacterial buildup

  • Floss daily to remove food particles and plaque from between your teeth.

  • Use an antimicrobial mouthwash to kill bacteria that can cause bad breath. Listerine is a great option!

  • Replace your toothbrush every 3 months to ensure it remains effective. Side note: Please replace your toothbrush after any illness.

Stay Hydrated

  • Drinking enough water helps to facilitate saliva production

  • Water also helps flush away food particles and bacteria.

Watch Your Diet

  • Want to enjoy garlic and onions? You do you! Maybe just not on a first date…

  • When eating foods that cause lingering aromas on the breath, be sure to follow up with excellent oral hygiene and maybe some sugar-free gum/mints!

Quit Smoking and Limit Alcohol

  • Tobacco products and excessive alcohol consumption can lead to dry mouth and bad breath.

  • Reach out to your primary care doctor if you feel like you need professional help with quitting.

Chew Sugarless Gum

  • Chewing sugarless gum can stimulate saliva production and help alleviate dry mouth.

Regular Dental Checkups

  • Schedule regular dental checkups with your favorite dental hygienist (aka me), at least every 6 months! Removal of hard deposits from the teeth can help combat bad breath.


Overcoming bad breath is achievable by addressing its root causes and implementing good oral hygiene practices. By maintaining excellent oral care, staying hydrated, and making conscious dietary choices, you can banish bad breath and boost your self-confidence.

Remember that professional guidance is always available from your dentist, hygienist or healthcare provider if you suspect a more severe underlying problem. With these tips in your arsenal, you'll be well on your way to conquering the invisible foe of bad breath and enjoying fresh, confident smiles.

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