How often do you have to deal with bad breath? As you know, having bad breath—regardless of how often you have to—can be an embarrassing experience. However, did you know that bad breath is typically caused by bacteria or by food particles in your mouth? While removing bacteria may be your best answer, there are a few things other options you can consider to attain immediate relief.

While you may think of using a breath mint first, please note that this may not be your best option. You see, most breath mints are high in sugar and, while sugar doesn’t hurt your teeth or your gums per se, it does feed the bacteria that leads to bad breath. Instead of breath mints, you may want to consider sugar-free gum.

While it’s important to note that you can’t use gum to remove bad bacteria, chewing gum can still be an extremely useful option. As you probably know, chewing gum can mask bad breath—typically by covering bad odor with the flavor of your gum. Regardless, saliva flow will carry food particles and bad bacteria from your teeth—leaving your breath fresher. Fortunately, chewing gum—or eating crisp fruits or vegetables—can also help.

You can also consider eating dairy products, such as cheese and unsweetened yogurt. While these foods don’t actually remove bacteria, they can neutralize the acids that are responsible for bad breath. Similarly, simply drinking water can wash away acid and food particles.

The best thing you can do to prevent bad breath is keeping up your oral hygiene. This means brushing twice a day, flossing at least once a day, and maintaining routine dental cleanings to remove tartar (hardened plaque). If you have concerns about bad breath, please don’t hesitate to contact Southridge Dental Group at 909-822-9090. Dr. Sanjay Merchant and our team look forward to hearing from you!