Bad Breath Home Secrets That Don't Work

By: Darren Wumoult..

There is a collection of myths ('urban legends') surrounding the causes and cures of halitosis; some of these myths are based on partial facts and some are based on misunderstandings of the facts. Following are five popular myths, explained and, in some cases debunked.

1. The first of these misconceptions is that most people believe they can easily know if they ever have bad breath. Unfortunately, the truth is that most of the time, other people will notice your bad breath before you even realize that you have it. Most people test the freshness of their breath by breathing on their hands. You might have even tried it yourself. Sorry to say, this technique doesn't work half of the time.

There are three sure ways to determine whether your breath stinks or not. Going to the dentist is an option but understandably, not many people like this technique. Alternatively, you can ask your friends if they are reliable enough to be frank about it. Or you can always do it yourself. Take a small teaspoon and scrape the furthest part of your tongue with the hollow part. Let it dry for a few minutes and smell it. If you do have bad breath, the foul odor left on the spoon will be unmistakable.

2. Bad breath comes from the intestines. True and false, but mostly false. While it is possible that bad breath can stem from digestive disorders, it is more commonly a result of leftover food particles stuck in the crevices of your mouth due to irregular brushing and failure to floss everyday.

3. The third misconception about bad breath is that it can easily be eliminated if you brush and floss. Well, yes, if you do these activities the right way. Not many people are well-informed about the right ways to brush and floss, probably because not many people visit their dentists regularly anymore. The purpose of brushing and flossing is to rid the mouth of extra food particles after eating. Because of this, it is ideal to brush after each time you eat, and floss at least once a day. As this is not feasible for most of us, brushing twice a day is generally recommended by oral hygienists. What most people don't know is that after brushing, they also need to clean their tongue and gums, since these can also have food particles that can be a great breeding ground for oral bacteria.

4. Bad breath can be eliminated by using a mouthwash. False. According to most advertisements, you will have fresh breath just by using a mouthwash. Unfortunately, these dental products only give a temporary solution to your halitosis problem. Some of them can even aggravate the problem in the long run. If you want to completely eliminate the problem of bad breath, you should practice good dental hygiene, eat foods rich in fiber and drink plenty of water everyday.

Bad breath usually comes from the oral bacteria that have accumulated in the mouth. They feed on the microscopic leftover food particles stuck in between the teeth or resting on the surface of your tongue. In the process of breaking down the proteins in the food particles, these bacteria emit the sulfuric substance that reeks of rotten eggs.

When purchasing a mouthwash, you can consider the products that contain chlorine dioxide. These will not dry up your mouth and are very effective in masking the foul odor released by certain oral bacteria, at least on a short term basis.

NOTE: According to the makers of "ProFresh Oral Rinse," their mouthwash is the "only" mouthwash on the market that actually contains chlorine dioxide, because they claim to have a patent that states that they have the exclusive right to use that chemical in a mouthwash. According to their literature, all other mouthwashes use 'stabilized chlorine dioxide' which is actually 'sodium chlorite,' a chemical used in the manufacture of chlorine dioxide. You be the judge! Manufacturers can "claim" anything, all that matters is which one works best for you!

5. Finally, most people believe that bad breath comes from the types of foot that we consume. You're probably familiar with breath that smells like onions or garlic or cabbage. These are definitely some of the foods that can leave a pungent odor in the mouth. However, the stinky smell caused by these foods is only temporary. Unless you have digestive illnesses or gum disease or some other possible cause of halitosis, the bad breath resulting from eating these foods will eventually disappear. But if you do have some digestive problems, your bad breath might be coming from inside your stomach or intestines and will entail more intensive treatment than simply brushing your teeth three times a day.

Chronic cases of bad breath are not generally caused by this digestive process unless our regular diet consists of many high-sulfur foods (or if you are actually on a diet that is starving your system of carbohydrates). Instead, chronic bad breath results when bacteria in the mouth break down left over food particles creating odorous sulfur particles -- in other words, poor oral hygiene. Brush thoroughly twice a day, floss once or twice a day, clean your tongue with a tongue cleaner (tongue scraper) once or twice a day, and eat a balanced diet; this combination is the 'magic bullet' for the vast majority of bad breath cases.

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