According to Harvard Medical School, approximately 30 percent of the population has experienced bad breath at one point. Some people may be unaware it's an issue until it is embarrassingly pointed out, but if you've been spending more time behind a mask lately, you may have noticed an odor and wondered how to get rid of bad breath.
What Causes Bad Breath?
As the Mayo Clinic explains, bad breath, also known as halitosis, can be caused by a variety of reasons. Certain habits, such as improper dental care, can lead to bad breath, as can the types of food you eat. In addition, different underlying health conditions could also prompt halitosis, such as:
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease
- Tooth decay
- Gum diseases
- Infections or inflammation in the mouth, throat, or nose
How to Get Rid of Bad Breath Naturally
Popping mints and chewing gum are often a quick fix for masking bad breath, but that's just a Band-Aid solution that doesn't fix the problem. To really avoid the stink, you should try methods that prevent the odor from happening in the first place. Here are a few simple things you can try to avoid the dreaded mask breath.
Employ Good Oral Hygiene
Brushing and flossing daily is critical to proper oral care. As the Mayo Clinic explains, when you don't brush properly, food particles remain in your mouth, which can lead to bad breath. Those particles can then form plaque, leading to more severe issues, such as gum disease, and ultimately cause more odor.
Brush your teeth with a natural toothpaste at least twice a day to help prevent plaque and tartar buildup. Floss to help remove any particles left behind and, as the New York Times suggests, use an alcohol-free mouthwash to fight bad breath germs.
Don't Forget about Your Tongue
As the Mayo Clinic points out, your tongue can also trap bacteria that cause odor, so make sure you remember to give it some attention during your oral care routine. Brushing your tongue and using mouthwash can help to give your mouth that fresh, clean feeling.
Keep Your Brush Fresh
When your toothbrush gets a regular workout, the bristles will wear down over time. The Mayo Clinic suggests changing out your toothbrush every three to four months to avoid frayed and damaged bristles.
Change Your Diet
While brushing away food particles can help minimize odor, you may want to consider changing the types of food you're eating in the first place. According to the Mayo Clinic, eating certain foods such as onions, garlic, and spices can cause bad breath. Eating a lot of sugary foods is also connected to bad odor. So, if you know you will be spending the afternoon behind a mask, you may want to avoid onions at lunch, especially if you haven't packed a toothbrush to freshen up.
Drink More Water
As the University of Michigan explains, decreased saliva is a major cause of bad breath because less saliva leads to an increase in odor-causing bacteria. Several factors can lead to a reduction in saliva production, including dehydration. Make sure that you are getting enough water throughout the day to stay hydrated.
Treat Your Allergies
As the Mayo Clinic explains, a chronically stuffy nose could lead to mouth breathing, which reduces saliva. Just like dehydration, this can lead to bad breath. Try some natural methods to treat allergies, such as a saline spray or warm shower, if your nose is always stuffy.
Talk to Your Doctor
If you've taken all the necessary self-care steps and you're still trying to figure out how to get rid of bad breath, there may be an underlying health issue that needs to be addressed. Certain conditions, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, as well as certain medications, can cause odor. Bring up your concerns with your doctor to determine if there's a more serious health issue causing your bad breath.
No one enjoys having bad breath, whether it's behind a mask or otherwise. The good news is that you can use many natural methods to improve your oral health, maintain your self-confidence, and ultimately say goodbye to bad breath.
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Why It's Good
If wearing a face cover has left you with the dreaded mask breath, there are some simple solutions. A few easy changes to your daily habits and oral care routine can help you banish bad breath naturally.