It is a well-known fact that brushing your teeth is necessary to avoid cavities. But did you know that proper oral hygiene also is key to fresh breath? Contrary to popular belief, bad breath usually comes from the oral cavity and not the stomach. The smell comes from bacteria that fester on old food particles and proteins found between teeth, on the back of the tongue and in gum pockets. As the food decomposes, the bacteria produce so called volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) that are exhaled and perceived as bad breath. For this reason, regular toothbrushing, flossing and rinsing with a mouthwash should all be part of your oral hygiene routine for a fresh breath and healthy teeth.
Fresh breath starts with brushing your teeth at least twice a day. Choose a soft-tufted toothbrush and toothpaste with fluoride. After each brushing, or at least once a day, clean in between the teeth with floss, a toothpick or a small interdental brush to remove food particles and plaque that the toothbrush cannot reach. Finish with a mouthwash, for example CB12, for lasting first class breath. CB12 prevents the cause of bad breath by neutralizing the VSCs, instead of just masking the symptoms, and has been proven to be effective for at least 12 hours.1 In addition to this daily routine, remember to see your dentist/dental hygienist for checkups and cleanings at least once a year.
Sugar is the favorite go-to fuel for the gas-producing bacteria in your mouth. When these bacteria feed on sugar, they produce acid that contributes to tooth decay. Sugar also allows them to reproduce quickly and build up plaque on your teeth and gums, which contributes to bad breath. Cutting down on candy, as well as sugary foods and drinks will help improve your oral hygiene and contribute to fresh breath and healthy teeth. Bacteria that cause bad breath also thrive on acidic foods and drinks, for example citrus fruit juices and tomato juice. If you suffer from bad breath, try not to drink more than one fizzy drink or fruit juice per day and us a straw to minimize the amount of time the acid is in contact with your teeth. Wait at least an hour after you eat or drink before brushing your teeth, especially if you consumed something sugary or acidic. And although mints and chewing gum are often promoted as a solution for bad breath, make sure they do not contain sugar. The mint taste can mask foul breath for a while, but the sugar will make it worse in the long run. Instead, choose sugar-free products containing the natural sweetener xylitol, such as CB12 boost, a chewing gum that can be used as a supplement to rinsing with CB12.
1 Thrane et. al., Dental Health, Zn and CHX mouthwash is effective against VSCs responsible for halitosis for up to 12 hours, (2009) 48 (3):8-12