Read the full article on Lifehacker — It’s embarrassing when someone points out that you have bad breath or politely offers a mint with a knowing smile.
There is very little you can do but apologize and swallow that mint with your pride.
But if you are a little better prepared, you can avoid such awkward situations in the future.
Much like any bodily odor, halitosis can be tackled with hygiene and knowledge.
So let’s start at the beginning by talking about what causes bad breath and how you can check if you have it.
Then we’ll talk about what works (and what doesn’t).
What Causes Bad Breath?
The most common reason that anyone suffers from halitosis is a dry mouth. A dry mouth occurs because you haven’t been drinking enough water or if you have been sleeping, which causes your body to slow down the production of saliva. A dry mouth leads to dead cells on your tongue, which bacteria break down — This process emits a foul odor that we commonly know as bad breath.
Bad breath is usually caused by your tongue, although the same process of bacteria breaking down dead cells and food bits can occur in other parts of your mouth, like with food stuck between your teeth. If you aren’t brushing your teeth carefully, the same bacteria will build up on your teeth and emanate an odor again.
How to Fix Bad Breath: The Most Effective Solutions
Drink Water Regularly
Bacteria builds up when you have a dry mouth, and the obvious way to combat this is to drink water regularly. If your mouth stays hydrated and is producing saliva regularly, you reduce the chances of bad breath.
Rinse with Mouthwash
If brushing your teeth and scraping your tongue does not fit the decorum of your office, you can turn to rinsing with mouthwash. Rinsing and gargling is better at washing away bacteria than chewing gum or popping a mint, but this is still a temporary fix and not as thorough as scraping your tongue. To get the most out of it, KnowYourTeeth says you need to rinse for 30 seconds and not eat or smoke for 30 minutes afterwards.
Bacteria can break down food stuck between your teeth and emit a foul odor. Flossing regularly helps remove any food particles. While your tongue is going to be the main problem, as commenter Stulgs points out, flossing regularly is also necessary to deal with bad breath. So floss, and do it right!
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