Does your breath stink? Are you afraid it does? An oral hygiene routine is always the best option, but if it’s not possible or practical to brush and floss your teeth, you still have a number of options available, including mouthwash, mints and gum.
Dr. Watson recommends that you use a mouthwash as part of your daily teeth-cleaning system, and you can also rinse your mouth anytime you feel a bout of bad breath coming on. You have to be very careful when selecting a mouth rinse, however: many are simply cosmetic, briefly covering up smells without getting at the root of the problem.
When you are trying to choose a mouthwash, there are a few things to look for. Pay close attention to the alcohol content, because more than a 20 percent concentration can actually increase bad breath by further drying out your mouth. Also, pH balanced products are better, which includes anything with a pH of about 5.5 or higher. Brands that fit within these guidelines include CariFree®, Cepacol®, and Act®.
If you would prefer to use a mint or a gum, you should make sure that the first ingredient is xylitol, a natural sweetener that does not harm teeth the way common sugar does and may actually prevent cavities from forming. Dr. Watson’s favorites are Tic Tac® Chill mints, Spry® mints and gums, and Trident® gums.
Don’t forget that while it is not bad to cover up foul-smelling breath, you need to make sure that Dr. Watson is aware of this problem so that we can rule out any serious diseases that may cause this condition.