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How to beat bad breath

Bad breath is best tackled head-on before your friends point it out

 

We’ve all suffered from it at some point – the morning after a garlic-bread feast, the day someone hogged the bathroom (leaving your toothbrush trapped inside), or that time when for some unknown reason you were just a bit whiffy. Almost one in three people have prolonged bad breath, which is usually a sign that a visit to the doctors or dentist is in order. A further one in three have occasional bad breath, often caused by certain food or drink triggers like alcohol, dairy or sugars, or sometimes it’s just a case of morning breath.

Saliva is nature’s way of protecting us against pongy breath as it contains high levels of oxygen, which is the enemy of anaerobic, bad breath bacteria. As we sleep, our saliva production reduces. This reduction in salivary gland activity, combined with constant air flow through snoring or breathing through our mouths, makes for a very dry tongue, mouth and throat. This creates the perfect environment for the sulphur-producing bacteria to thrive, leaving you waking up with a less than fresh-feeling mouth.

Seven ways to keep bad breath away…

  • Floss your teeth regularly, paying special attention to your hind teeth.
  • Use a toothbrush with a tongue scraper to remove the mucus layer on your tongue.
  • Keep well hydrated with water throughout the day, especially if you’re working out.
  • Try to cut back your sugar intake, this will reduce the amount of food available for the bad breath bacteria.
  • Drink green tea. It contains polyphenols which help kill the bad breath microbes.
  • Chew crunchy fruit and veg. Apples, celery, carrots and cucumber all help increase your saliva production.
  • Suck on The Breath Company Mouth Wetting Dry Mouth Lozenges, (£8.99, Boots) to keep your mouth fresh and help boost saliva production.

 

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