Bad breath can ruin a wonderful holiday. Concerns that your breath smells bad can make you feel self-conscious, uncomfortable and generally unable to socialize. Even if you’re not aware of your bad breath, odor from your mouth can still have a negative effect on your interactions with others. Knowing the cause of bad breath and what you can do about is important. These tips can help you fight bad breath and enjoy a happy holiday season.

Causes of bad breath

Bad breath is caused by bacteria growth. Bad breath can be a sign of periodontal disease, infection in the mouth and gingivitis. Sometimes, bad breath occurs because of poor oral hygiene. Other times, bad breath occurs because of infections, diseases, chronic conditions and other dental health problems. No matter what the cause, there are a few things you can do to treat bad breath. Here’s what you need to know.

Avoid dry mouth

Saliva and water help wash away bacteria in your mouth, which in turn can help combat bad breath. It makes sense then that dry mouth causes bacteria to grow. There are many things you can do to avoid dry mouth this holiday season.

  1. Drink water at holiday feasts. Drinking water is a good way to stay hydrated and avoid dry mouth.
  2. Limit coffee and alcohol intake. Coffee and alcohol both encourage you to use the bathroom and can leave you feeling dry as a result; limiting intake of these drinks can help control symptoms of dry mouth.
  3. Forgo that holiday cigar. Smoking cigars can dry out the mouth, so if a holiday cigar is a tradition of yours, try going without this year.

Eat crunchy veggies from the appetizer tray

Crunchy vegetables stimulate the production of saliva, which in turn can wash away bacteria. When you go to your next holiday celebration, eat crunchy vegetables like carrots and peppers. Apple slices stimulate saliva production as well, so feel free to have as many apples as you want.

Crunchy vegetables also have the benefit of cleaning out your mouth, kind of like a natural toothbrush. You can eat these snacks before and after your holiday meals to help fight bad breath and keep your mouth clean.

Chew sugarless gum

In the absence of an actual toothbrush and toothpaste, some types of sugarless gum are the next best thing. Chew sugarless gum after meals and after drinking coffee, which can leave your breath smelling not-so-fresh. When selecting a sugarless gum, look for brands that have the ADA seal on them. ADA stands for American Dental Association. Gums that have this seal should be the most beneficial to chew and the safest for your teeth.

Brush twice daily, more if necessary

The holidays can get hectic. At this time of year, you might find yourself enjoying late nights with friends or early mornings with family. If you have guests staying at your house, your access to the bathroom and your entire personal hygiene routine may be disrupted. This is all a way of saying that even if you know that you’re supposed to brush your teeth twice each day, you might not actually be doing it as often as you’re supposed to.

If it’s necessary, set an alarm for yourself to remind yourself to brush your teeth in the morning and evenings. Put an extra toothbrush and toothpaste in your car just in case you get to a holiday celebration and realize that you’re not sure if you brushed your teeth that morning.

See the dentist

The best way to combat bad breath is to see your dentist. Your dentist can treat your bad breath by cleaning your teeth and treating your gum disease. Your dentist may also recommend a variety of prescription-strength toothpastes and oral hygiene products if the situation warrants it. You can only take advantage of these products if you see the dentist, so make an appointment with the dentist as soon as possible.

To make an appointment with the dentist, contact Sunrise Dental today.