Elmhurst General Dentist Explains How to Freshen Breath

Written by Dr. Scharfenberg on Jun 25, 2012

Elmhurst General Dentist Explains How to Freshen Breath

One of the most embarrassing dental problems out there is chronic bad breath. If you’ve been chewing gum, chomping on breath mints, and inhaling oral sprays in an effort to conquer bad breath, you aren’t fighting the problem at its source.

When your breath isn’t fresh, you’ll probably find that you avoid smiling, laughing, and striking up conversations in public. Bad breath affects your self-esteem and your behavior, but this treatable condition doesn’t have to take over your life. The key to fighting bad breath is to minimize oral infections, cavities, and gum disease. Bad breath is generally caused by oral infections, because bacterial tartar and plaque emit bad odors.

The number one cause of bad breath is oral infection, or an overabundance of bacteria in the mouth.

There are many ways that you can actively work to prevent cavity formation in the first place. Here are recommendations from our Elmhurst general dentists:


·      Brush Your Teeth Often

Brushing your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste removes plaque from your mouth before acid has a chance to adhere to your tooth.  If you are unable to brush after every meal, make sure to at least rinse your mouth with water to free any debris from between your teeth and encourage salivation, which remineralizes teeth.

·      Floss Daily

Flossing cleans those small spaces that your toothbrush can’t reach.  Flossing is the most effective way for you to remove plaque and prevent cavities between your teeth.

·      Use Mouth Rinse

Rinsing your mouth with antimicrobial mouth rinse helps to kill bacteria and prevent plaque and tartar buildup.   Mouth rinse also cleans those hard to reach places that brushing can miss.

·      Eat Well

Stay away from foods with a lot of sugar, junk foods, and starchy foods.  Incorporate foods rich in Vitamin C into your diet, foods like kiwi, oranges, and broccoli.  Foods rich in calcium also promote healthy teeth.  Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, so it’s a good idea to include some Vitamin D rich foods into your diet—many fish and eggs are high in Vitamin D.  Crunchy foods, especially vegetables, are another great choice, because they can naturally clean plaque off your teeth as you chew. 


Remember that while mints and gum may temporarily sweeten breath, they are not long-term solutions, and they could actually make your chronic bad breath problem worse over time. Give our Elmhurst general dentists a call if you have questions, we’re here to help—(630) 733-1624.