Ways to Beat Bad Breath

Having bad breath can be a major cause of embarrassment and social isolation. It may just be the result of eating something strong (such as onions or garlic), or it could be a symptom of an underlying health problem. Regardless of the reason, there are steps you can take to make your breath pleasant once again.

Brush and Floss

Poor dental hygiene is one of the most common reasons why people develop bad breath. Food gets caught between teeth and bacteria build up, leading to halitosis—the dental term for “bad breath”. You should brush your teeth twice a day, floss once a day, and also brush your tongue to help remove bacteria in that area.

Stay Hydrated

Bad breath can also be the result of dry mouth. When your mouth is not producing sufficient saliva, you should drink water or chew sugarless gum in order to stimulate production. If your saliva is low because of medications or a medical condition, talk to your dentist about it because there may be ways they can help.

See Your Dentist

You should be seeing your dentist at least twice a year. Everything may feel fine, but it never hurts to get a professional cleaning. This is especially important if you wear braces or dentures. If these devices are not cleaned properly, then your breath can begin can be impacted negatively. A dentist can show you how to properly clean teeth and remove plaque deposits that build up and can’t be removed with a toothbrush.

Quit Tobacco

A big cause for bad breath is frequent tobacco use. There is a huge list of reasons why you should quit tobacco, and this is yet another one you can add to the list.

Address a Medical Condition

Sometimes halitosis is a symptom of a much larger problem such as diabetes or a sinus infection. In these instances, you will need to address the underlying issue. Seek the necessary medical treatment from your dentist if needed for these conditions.

Taking some steps now to help improve your breath can ensure that you won’t have to stress about it right before that big meeting at work or that hot date. There are plenty of ways to make your breath smell minty fresh once more. 

The Harmful Effects of Bad Oral Health

If you’re looking for ways to improve the health of your entire body, open your mouth and say “ahhhhhh.” Medical research has shown that individuals with gum disease have an increased risk of other health issues, such as heart disease and even cancer. Learn how bad oral health impacts the body and what you can do about it.

The True Impact of Gum Disease

Early signs of gum disease include swollen gums, chronic bad breath, gums that bleed while flossing and sensitive teeth. Your mouth acts as an internal interstate to the rest of your body, and the disease in your gums can use that interstate to spread to the rest of your system. Additional health complications that can result from gum disease include stroke, low birth weight in babies and other health complications. Now that you know the how, it’s time to learn more about the what, as in what you can do to reduce the harmful effects of poor oral health.

It All Starts in the Mouth

Besides keeping up with your oral hygiene, there are several additional things you can do to improve your overall physical health. One of the first things you should do is add more minerals and healthy fats to your diet. While you’re at it, you should ease up on foods with an abundance of sugar and vegetable oil.

To boost your immune system to fight off any disease you might already have and future disease, make sure you get plenty of sleep, handle your stress well and cut out bad lifestyle choices, such as smoking and excessive drinking.

Pay Attention to the Oral Products You Use

Using oral products won’t do you or your health much good if those products contain toxins that can counteract your preventative measures. Look at and research the ingredients in your toothpaste, mouthwash and chewing gum to make sure they’re as beneficial as their makers claim or talk to your dentist about what products s/he would recommend.

Take full control of your health, starting with your teeth and gums. Ask your dentist for more tips.    

How Athletes Can Keep Teeth Safe

Everyone should practice good dental hygiene, but athletes face a very unique risk. Depending on the exact sport you play, your jaw or face may be at risk of experiencing injury where your teeth could break or become dislodged entirely, so there are specific practices that should be followed so that you can hang onto all your teeth for much longer.


A mouthguard can do a lot of good if you participate in a contact sport like football, basketball, soccer, lacrosse, or hockey. High school and college athletes should wear one of these at all times, including during both practices and actual games, since injuries can occur at anytime. Not only will tooth loss or damage cause pain, but it also costs a lot of money to replace your missing tooth with a crown or bridge.

Keep in mind that there are different types of mouthguards and the right one for you can vary depending on your sport and activity levels. You can likely go to any sporting goods store and find some standard mouthguards, but these are not going to be the best type of protection. Generic guards offer minimal protection, so you should instead get a mouthguard that is specifically designed to fit over your teeth. These can be obtained from most dental professionals.

What Happens When You Don’t Wear a Mouthguard?

Without a mouthguard, your teeth could easily get chipped, cracked, broken, or knocked out, which means you could pay thousands of dollars in replacement costs. Not only is there the financial weight of losing a tooth, but you will also need to spend hours in a dentist’s office and recovering from the procedure (which likely means missing some time out on the field). Thousands of injuries are prevented every year thanks to the use of mouthguards, so you should definitely wear one yourself.

Anyone who plays basketball, volleyball, rugby, soccer or other intense sports should always utilize a specialized faceguard. You would not play sports without a helmet, knee pads or other protective gear, and a mouthguard should be viewed the same way.

Folic Acid: An Essential Nutrient for Dental Health

When it comes to the health of your teeth and gums, you may just think that as long as you brush and floss every day your mouth will be perfectly healthy. However, you also need to maintain a healthy diet to keep your pearly whites in pristine condition. Something that should absolutely be part of a balanced diet is folic acid, also known as Vitamin B9, and without it, you could be facing some serious health risks.

Gum Disease

Folic acid assists with cell repair, so if you are at risk of developing gum disease, then it can help combat the disease by helping repair the cells in your gums. A surprising number of Americans (almost 50 percent) have some form of gum disease, whether it is gingivitis or periodontitis, so Vitamin B9 should be taken daily. Folic acid is water soluble, meaning it cannot be stored in the body, so you need to consume some every day in order to take advantage of the benefits.

Birth Defects

Although more research needs to be done, many experts believe there is a link between pregnant women who do not take enough folic acid and the presence of certain birth defects such as cleft lip or cleft palate. These issues can necessitate speech therapy or surgeries later in life, so many dental professionals recommend pregnant women err on the side of caution and take in plenty of Vitamin B9 during their pregnancy.

It is fairly easy to consume enough folic acid to avoid these issues. It can be found in numerous food sources, including:

  • Broccoli
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Spinach
  • Beans
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Peanuts
  • Asparagus
  • Beets

Additionally, folic acid can also be found in numerous fortified breads and grains, so you can also get it through cereal or pasta. To make sure you are getting enough, check food labels to see how much you are getting in a single serving. It is an important vitamin, and you should take enough in your day-to-day life.

Managing Children’s Anxiety at the Dentist

Whether you specialize in pediatric dentistry or want to make sure your family practice is child-friendly, it’s important to have a wide repertoire of techniques at your disposal to calm children when they are having dental work done. You may even find that some of these techniques also work for skittish adults.

Engage and Educate

Although it isn’t necessary to turn your entire waiting area into a playroom, having activities that engage children while they wait for their appointment can go a long way toward keeping the anxiety at bay prior to their appointment time. You can choose to go the educational route, and use the waiting time as an opportunity to explain some things about the visit and their teeth and what to expect during their appointment, or you can provide movies, games, and toys.


It’s important to address fears children might have by allowing them to talk about those fears, and by letting them know what to expect. Fully explaining what will happen during the visit gives them the opportunity to ask questions and can ease some of the fear of the unknown. Make sure they have a way to communicate with you throughout the procedure, or check in with them periodically to let them know how much longer they’ll be in the chair.

Involve Parents

Sometimes just the presence of a parent or familiar face in the exam room may help the child feel more safe and comfortable, especially if it’s their first time. Collaborating with the parent to demonstrate what will happen during the visit is an excellent strategy. You can explain to the child what will occur, demonstrate it on the parent, and then do the procedure with the child.

Parents also have a role in ensuring that children see the dentist for the first time at an early age (preferably by the time they turn 1) so children can have positive experiences from the beginning and learn that the dentist is not a place they should fear. If parents wait until a child requires extensive treatment, visits to the dentist will likely be viewed as fearful or painful events.

Using some or all of these techniques should help children manage their anxiety at the dentist. Doing so can visit more productive and enjoyable for everyone.