Don't let Bad Breath be a reason to Social-Distance!

Don't let Bad Breath be a reason to Social-Distance!

Bad breath can obviously be a significant social stigma, but it may be a symptom of a more serious underlying oral health issue. This week we are looking into ways to reduce bad breath and improve oral health at the same time....

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The Home Essentials
Professional Bad Breath Treatment
Eating Habits and Tips
After-meal Tips
Lifestyle Tips

Foods that can cause bad breath

Always start with the essentials

There is little point in going out to buy the heavily marketed mouthwashes and oral hygiene auxiliary products if you have not spent a good amount of time at home to address the basics first. This includes gently brushing your teeth and gums, at least twice a day for 2 minutes with a fluoride toothpaste.

The fluoride is antibacterial to the bacteria that cause decay. Tooth Decay, which is essentially partially dying or dead tooth tissue structure, can give off a gangrenous odour. Some types of fluoride (stannous fluoride) also help to eliminate plaque biofilm.

Fluoride Toothpastes Eyes & Smiles

Tongue and Toothbrush

An area which commonly gets forgotten is the tongue. Remember to gently clean your tongue at least once a day using a tongue-scraper or cleaner to decrease the bacteria, fungi, and dead cells that can cause odor. Some of you may find it makes you feel like gagging. If so a good tip is to breathe out or hold your breath as you do this.

Replace your toothbrush head every two to three months since leaving it longer means you will have more bacteria potentially residing on the head as well as frayed bristles which will not clean as effectively or efficiently.

Inter-dental and Inter-pocket

Clean between your teeth with inter-dental brushes or floss at least once a day. The Inter-dental brushes trump floss when it comes to plaque removal if they can be fitted in.

Additionally, If you know you have gum disease, then it is worth you also getting into the deeper pockets better with a single tufted brush used in a vertical direction. Stagnated food at this level under the gum is the biggest cause of bad breath. For added freshness be sure to dip your floss or interdental/tufted brush into toothpaste before applying.


If you wear dentures, always remember to clean them daily and remove them at night. Not doing so can lead to bad smelling fungal infections such as thrush.

It is a good idea to use steradent tablets to help disfinect them and prevent a buildup of scale from dried saliva, which can also smell strong. Cleaning can be done with a soft toothbrush and warm washing up liquid. Do not use tooth paste as it can be mildly abrasive on the acrylic of the dentures over time .

How to keep dentures clean using Steradent tablets and washing Eyes & Smiles

Professional Bad Breath Treatment

It is advisable to get regular professional Dental check-ups, at least six monthly to ensure you get checked for Tooth Decay or Gum Disease. These are conditions that patients often do not know about since they tend to be silent diseases.

Eyes & Smiles will check for all signs of bad breath. Click here to get our help

At Eyes & Smiles we can help you detect any causes for bad breath, or halitosis, as it is clinically known, before underlying problems start to get worse. For example leaving a decayed tooth or wobbly tooth unchecked for too long can lead to tooth or gum infection, which are major causes of bad breath.

Eating Habits and Tips

A lot of the odour from the mouth will be coming from the items we consume. As such it is good to avoid too much of any 1 thing, and in particular for bad-breath, that would be foods such as onion and garlic, or anything similar which can sour your breath. These foods can also induce acid-reflux in those that suffer from it.

One natural remedy to try would be to chew a handful of cloves, fennel seeds, or aniseeds. Their antiseptic qualities help fight halitosis-causing bacteria. Similarly if you prefer something fruity, chew a piece of lemon or orange rind for a mouth-freshening burst of flavor. The action of chewing will naturally displace food particles. (Wash the rind thoroughly first.) The citric acid will stimulate the salivary glands. Both things combined will help wash away Odour-causing bacteria from the oral cavity.

A word of warning - be careful of the acidity in citric fruit - be sure to rinse with water or drink water following citric fruit. For something less acidic but still just as fresh, you could try chewing a fresh sprig of parsley, basil, mint, or cilantro. The chlorophyll in these green plants neutralizes odours effectively as well as being a healthy source of key vitamins and minerals.

Foods that can help eliminate bad breath Eyes & Smiles

After-meal Tips

Skip after dinner mints and chew sugar-free gum instead, after having strong-smelling food and drinks. This will neutralize the smell and also encourage saliva in the mouth to wash away bacteria. This is especially useful if you are suffering with dry mouth. A lack of saliva can put you at higher risk of halitosis.

You could also try using an antibacterial mouthwash that is alcohol-free (try CB12), or mix a cup of water with a teaspoon of baking soda (which changes the pH level to neutral and fights odor in the mouth) mixed with a drop of antimicrobial peppermint essential oil. Don't swallow it!

Lifestyle tips

Make sure you are well-hydrated through the day. Drink plenty of water and swish cool water around in your mouth. This is especially helpful to freshen "morning breath." People who snore or mouth-breathe are more prone to this.

Also, if you are a smoker, unfortunately bad breath is one of many negative consequences of smoking (or chewing) tobacco. Our advice would be to Kick the tobacco habit.

If you would like help with that or advice on how, please call or email us. We will be more than happy to help you at Eyes & Smiles N11 Fresh Breath clinic.