We’ve all had that feeling: you wake up, yawn, and smell that foul smell like someone has just pulled up a drain cover. Or, worse still, your partner recoils in horror when you go in for a quick kiss. Morning breath is actually perfectly normal and caused by bacteria building up in your mouth overnight due to the decreased levels of saliva, but that doesn’t mean we have to deal with it. There are actually several ways to “cure” morning breath, but here are the top five.
- Avoiding cigarettes
It’s pretty much expected that smoking will change the scent of your breath for the worst, and it’s especially bad when you smoke before bed and allow the tobacco to sit in your mouth until the morning. Even if you don’t want the health benefits from quitting smoking, your nose will thank you in the long run if you give it a try.
- Brushing your teeth as often as possible
Eating meals, unless it’s a handful of parsley, will pretty much always affect your breath. Several factors play a part in this, but the most prominent are: the food getting stuck in small cavities of your mouth while they’re digested by your mouth enzymes, and the natural smell of the food itself. Taking a travel toothbrush to stay fresh throughout the day will work miracles. As will brushing every morning and evening religiously, to keep the bacterial growth at a minimum.
- Chew sugar free gum
Please note that I said sugar free – the sugary iterations will end up damaging your teeth in the long run, paradoxically making the problem far worse. Sugar free gum will gently freshen your breath by giving your mouth a minty fresh smell, and encouraging the production of saliva, which will wash away a good deal of the bacteria in your mouth.
- Cut down on pungent foods (garlic, onions, etc)
Not all foods are created equal, and some have a greater potential to lead to offensive breath than others. Garlic and onions are the usual culprits due to the strong, aromatic oils that will linger long after you’ve eaten (and even after brushing your teeth at times). Keep in mind, though, that some spicy foods and curries will have the exact same effect, so if you’re planning a romantic evening, it might be an idea to give that chicken jalfrezi a miss.
- Visiting your doctor regularly
Sometimes halitosis can be the symptom of an underlying health problem. If you’ve tried everything else and nothing has worked for you, the next step is to visit your dentist and doctor to find out exactly what is causing it. It may seem embarrassing at the time, but it’s better to take the leap and value your health over your ego in this case.