We all want fresh breath, and now we have a specific day to celebrate it. National Fresh Breath Day is August 6, and we are happy to give you five suggested ways to celebrate. Not only will these ideas help you freshen your breath; they will also improve your dental health!
1. Brush Up on Your Brushing Technique
See what we did there? Most people do not think about the technique they use when brushing their teeth. They just brush and go, right? Unfortunately, using an improper technique can leave dental plaque on your teeth.
Plaque contains bacteria that produce smelly gases as a by-product. The more plaque you have, the worse your breath is. Conversely, the less plaque you have, the fresher your breath will be!
In order to most effectively remove plaque from your teeth, hold your toothbrush (with soft bristles only!) at a 45-degree angle at the gumlines where they meet the teeth, and sweep the brush away from the gums in gentle circular motions.
Brushing alone will not remove all of the dental plaque from your teeth. If you skip flossing, you are missing about 35% of your teeth surfaces and leaving dental plaque on them. That’s a lot of plaque to create bad breath odors!
For great oral hygiene, you must floss once a day, preferably at night before going to sleep. We recommend a technique known as C-shaped flossing for the best plaque-removing results. People who are not sure about a lack of flossing being a cause of bad breath are easily convinced when they smell their floss . . .
3. Clean Your Tongue
The tongue can also harbor plaque, especially in the deep grooves and crevices near the back of the tongue. The tongue anatomy changes as you move toward the throat, with papillae (the little bumps on the tongue) becoming larger with deep pits between them. These pits are perfect hiding spots for bacteria. Dental plaque on the tongue is often a strong source of bad odors in the mouth.
It is important to use the right tools and the right technique to clean plaque from the tongue without damaging the delicate tongue tissue. We recommend a flexible tongue cleaner that will gently pull soft plaque away without damaging the papillae.
4. Chew Some Xylitol Gum
Chewing gum is a quick and easy way to freshen the breath. The flavor and chewing motion associated with gum stimulate a healthy flow of saliva. Saliva helps fight bacteria in the mouth.
When you chew sugar-free gum that contains xylitol, you add even more power to your punch. Xylitol is a natural sweetener from a plant. Research studies show that the bacteria in dental plaque will “eat” xylitol like normal sugars, but they cannot digest it. Xylitol helps fight bacteria and dental plaque. This means it will also give you fresher breath than other types of chewing gum.
The easiest brand of xylitol chewing gum to find is Ice Cubes made by Hershey. Each piece contains 2 grams of xylitol, which is higher than the amount in many other brands of chewing gum.
5. Schedule a Professional Teeth Cleaning
Some sources of bad breath are not removable by you on your own. When dental plaque remains on the teeth for a long stretch of time, it mineralizes, or hardens, into tartar. Plaque is soft and easy to brush and floss away. Tartar is not. The only way to remove tartar is through a professional teeth cleaning by your dentist or dental hygienist.
Large buildups of tartar can collect beneath the gums where you can’t see them. These deep pockets are a cesspool of bacteria and a constant source of bad breath! No matter how well you brush and floss, you’ll never remove tartar from deep pockets. You must have a professional teeth cleaning to do so.
More Questions about Maintaining Fresh Breath?
Call Rockland Dental Specialists to schedule a consultation with one of our dental experts. We can answer any questions you may have about fresh breath and assess your specific situation to uncover any potential bad breath culprits. We love helping our patients maintain fresh breath every day of the year. Call us at (845) 259-2500 or complete our online contact form today!