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Halitosis Management Tips: Keeping Bad Breath at Bay

Medically reviewed by Grazielle Millo-Paderes, DDM, MSc · Dentistry · Unihealth-Parañaque Hospital and Medical Center

Written by Excel Dyquiangco · Updated Dec 28, 2020

Halitosis Management Tips: Keeping Bad Breath at Bay

How do you get rid of bad breath, also called halitosis? It’s a legitimate question as a stinky mouth can lead to anxiety that keeps you from talking to people and which lowers your self-esteem. Learn halitosis management tips and other key hygiene practices for good overall oral health. 

What Causes Bad Breath?

Aside from poor oral hygiene, there may exist underlying medical reasons for this condition. Among them include

  • Medical infections
  • Kidney failure
  • Diabetes
  • Digestive problems
  • Respiratory tract infections like bronchitis or pneumonia
  • Liver malfunction

How Dental Health Affects Overall Health

Halitosis Management Tips

Practice good oral hygiene

It can’t be stressed hard enough. You need to brush your teeth immediately after meals. If you don’t, plaque and tartar may build-up along your gum lines, on the front and back of your teeth.

In addition, when you brush your teeth, don’t forget to brush your tongue too as your tongue harbors bacteria. Brushing it can reduce any foul odors. Keep in mind that to sufficiently clean all the surfaces of your teeth, you should brush for at least two minutes, as opposed to 30 or 45 seconds that most people spend in the washroom. 

Floss regularly

Aside from brushing your teeth and your tongue, it is also important to floss regularly at least once a day to remove the food particles and plaque in between your teeth. This helps control bad breath.

Clean dentures or retainers in your mouth thoroughly

If you wear dentures or dental retainers, brush and clean them thoroughly each day. Remove them before you go to bed and clean to eliminate the bacterial buildup from drinks and food. You can even ask your dentist for the best cleaning products for your dentures or retainers. 

Avoid dry mouth

Bad breath is a symptom of dry mouth or the lack of saliva. To always keep your mouth moist, aside from drinking any glasses of water, you should avoid beverages that contribute to dry mouth such as sodas, coffee, or soft drinks.

Avoid tobacco too. Another halitosis management tip to stimulate saliva in your mouth: chew gum or suck on candy (sugarless preferred). If you have chronic dry mouth, your dentist can prescribe an oral medication that can manage saliva. 

Drink plenty of water

Drinking many glasses of water a day (at least 6 to 8 glasses of water daily) can keep the odor from your mouth under control and can also wash away particles and bacteria, the main causes of halitosis. The key is to keep your mouth and your throat moist always. 

Watch what you eat

Some of the food that you eat can also contribute to your halitosis. Eating too much garlic or onions can stimulate a foul odor in your mouth. So as much as possible, stay away from such food products. 

Change toothbrushes often

When you keep on using your toothbrush for months on end, the bristles become frayed and therefore, become less effective in fighting plaque and bad breath. They also become a reservoir for bacteria. Your toothbrush is only good for two to three months and after that, throw it away and get a new one. 

See your dentist regularly

Go to your dentist at least twice a year, and have your teeth checked, cleaned, and repaired. Keep in mind that plaque buildup in your teeth can contribute to bad breath. Your dentist can take care of removing this stubborn plaque. 

In addition, take care of damaged teeth immediately. Rotted teeth will not only cause bad breath but will also produce abscess/pus in the gums.

How Often Should You Go to the Dentist for a Cleaning?

Stop smoking

The tar and nicotine from the cigarettes can build up in your mouth and stick to your gums, tongue, teeth, and even the sides of your cheeks. One of the most important halitosis management tips is to really cut this habit. But if you can’t, seek professional advice and ask your dentist – or doctor – how to quit smoking. 

Use an antiseptic mouthwash

An antiseptic mouthwash – which you can use after brushing your teeth – can help eliminate bad odors and can kill bacteria causing bad breath. Buy one that is alcohol-free. You can ask your dentist which brand is suitable for you. 

Go for home remedies

The antiseptic qualities of a handful of cloves or aniseeds – which you can chew – can help you fight halitosis-causing bacteria. Grab and eat either orange and lemon as their citric acid can stimulate the salivary glands and ward off bad breath. You can also munch on an apple, a stick of celery, or a carrot because these help wash away bacteria build-up from your teeth. 

Meanwhile, chewing cilantro, basil, parsley, or mint can also neutralize the odor in your mouth. 

Key Takeaways

Halitosis, or bad breath, can indeed become a major problem that not only affects your health but your emotional wellbeing. The good news is that by following these halitosis management tips, you can cure your unfortunate condition. 

If after attempting all these anti-halitosis tips and you still have bad breath, it would be best to consult your physician to determine possible underlying gastrointestinal conditions.

Learn more about Oral Health here.


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Grazielle Millo-Paderes, DDM, MSc

Dentistry · Unihealth-Parañaque Hospital and Medical Center

Written by Excel Dyquiangco · Updated Dec 28, 2020

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