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Did you know that most problems with bad breath are a result of poor dental hygiene? You can try to mask the smell with mouthwash, mints or even brushing your teeth, but failing to treat the root cause will result in chronic halitosis.

In most cases, bad breath originates from the gums and tongue and there are numerous ways to fight it. According to Delta Dental, following these tips can help you fight bad breath as well as keep your mouth healthy on a daily basis.

Brush teeth twice a day – Brush your teeth two to three minutes at least twice a day to remove plaque and food debris. It’s very important to brush your teeth before going to bed. You might try an additional round of brushing with baking soda to reduce the acidity in the mouth and make it difficult for the bacteria that cause bad breath to grow.

Floss daily – Flossing will remove food debris from in between the teeth that a toothbrush can't reach. If the food debris is not removed, the bacteria will begin to feed on it, causing bad breath.

Brush or scrape your tongue – To remove any residue that may be building up between the taste buds and folds in the tongue, invest in an inexpensive tool called a tongue scraper, which is available in drugstores. If you don’t have a tongue scraper, you can use your toothbrush to brush your tongue.

Use a mouth rinse – Keep in mind that if a dental problem is the cause of chronic bad breath, a mouth rinse will only mask the odor and not cure it. In some cases, mouth rinses may actually worsen a bad breath problem by irritating oral tissue. For an emergency freshen-up, try a quick rinse with a mix of water and a few drops of peppermint oil. Or rinse your mouth with black or green tea: according to a study by the University of Illinois at Chicago, rinsing your mouth with black or green tea suppresses the growth of bacteria that cause mouth odor.

Visit your dentist – The best way to make sure that you are maintaining good oral hygiene is to visit your dentist regularly. If you have chronic bad breath, you should visit your dentist first, to rule out any dental problems. Or, if your dentist believes that the problem is caused from a systemic (internal) source such as an infection, he or she may refer you to your family physician or a specialist to help remedy the cause of the problem.

Contact Check Dental to schedule your dental appointment and kiss that bad breath goodbye.

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