Monday, September 25, 2006

Bad Breath - Some Tips from the ADA and AGD

Hi all,

Some suggestions from the ADA (American Dental Association) and AGD (Academy of General Dentistry) on combating bad breath:

Eliminate the bacteria and food particles that can cause bad breath. Floss, then brush your teeth, gums and tongue after each meal.

If you can't brush and floss, rinse your mouth with water after eating to dislodge food and moisten your mouth.

Have your teeth cleaned and examined by a dental professional twice (or more) per year.

Learn the proper way to brush and actually do it.

Drink lots of liquids, preferably water, to keep your mouth moist.

If your mouth feels dry, chew sugarless gum to stimulate production of saliva

You can also chew raw parsley which is a natural breath freshener.

Baking soda is an effective odor eliminator; try a toothpaste that contains baking soda.

Try rinsing your mouth for one minute with a 50-50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and warm water to kill odor-causing bacteria.

Avoid mouthwashes that contain alcohol; read the label! Instead, try a mouthwash that contains chlorine dioxide. This compound doesn't just mask odor, it actually eliminates it at the source by attacking the odor-causing volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs).

Snack on raw vegetables such as carrots, celery and red peppers. This stimulates production of saliva, and some dentists believe it can help to remove plaque from your teeth.

To avoid stress-related dry mouth, practice "conscious relaxation" in stressful situations: breathe deeply, visualize peaceful settings, recognize parts of your body that feel tense and consciously relax them. If you can't get past the stress, chew sugarless gum or mints to keep the salivary glands going.

Use an oral irrigation device such as a Waterpik to remove particles of food wedged between your teeth; portable models are available.

If you wear dentures or a retainer, clean them frequently, and periodically soak them in an antiseptic solution.

Seek out a dentist who offers specialized treatment in that area.

(Sources: ADA/AGD/Casey Online)

Take care all


Hans Skariah, B.Sc., DMD
Promenade Court Dental Health Group
2233 Hurontario St., Mississauga, ON, Canada (in the Dome Building)
(905) 273-7100