Halitosis | Prevention

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What can I do to prevent bad breath?

  • Brush your teeth at least 2 times every day, using a fluoride toothpaste. Be sure to brush along the gumline, as well as all tooth surfaces. Each time you brush your teeth, use your toothbrush to clean the surface of your tongue.
  • Floss your teeth at least once a day to remove food from between your teeth.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables every day. Eat less meat.
  • Avoid foods that cause you to have bad breath. Also try to avoid alcoholic beverages, which often cause bad breath.
  • Avoid using tobacco products. Any kind of tobacco can cause halitosis.
  • Sometimes a dry mouth has an unpleasant smell. If your mouth is dry, you can suck on sugar-free mints, chew sugar-free gum or drink more water.
  • Most mouthwashes do not have a long-lasting effect on bad breath. If you use a mouthwash, swish it around in your mouth for 30 seconds before spitting it out.
  • If you wear removable dentures, take them out at night. Brush the dentures and soak them overnight in a disinfecting solution. Removable braces and retainers should also be cleaned. Follow the directions of your dentist.
  • See your dentist twice a year to have your teeth cleaned.

If you can’t get rid of bad breath on your own, see your family doctor to find out if a more serious problem is causing it.

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 03/14
Created: 09/00

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