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Deal With That Bad Breath With These 4 Simple Tips

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You need to eat more yogurt 

Bad breath, or halitosis, is caused by an overgrowth of “bad” bacteria in your mouth. But do you know what else is packed with bacteria? Yogurt! The humble dairy snack is a microbial superhero that can help fight off the stinky germs in your mouth and replace them with breath-friendly bugs. Eating yogurt daily for eight weeks reduced the amount of hydrogen sulfide and other stinky bacteria by 80 percent, according to a study published by the International & American Association For Dental Research.

Dial down on the breath mints 

Breath mints may promise fresher breath but that promise is fleeting, according to research from the American Chemical Society. That minty fresh scent is likely only masking the underlying odor problem and, even worse, the sugar in regular mints can feed stinky bacteria, making your problem worse. Skip the mints and focus on brushing and flossing, the researchers say. If you must indulge, a few ingredients like xylitol and magnolia tree bark are proven to kill bad bacteria, so look for sugar-free products containing those.

Use less mouthwash

Mouthwash is another product marketed to reduce bad breath that may actually make the problem worse. Most mouthwashes temporarily destroy bacteria—which may sound great until you realize they’re getting rid of all your oral bacteria. As your mouth repopulates you’re at risk for a bad bacteria overgrowth, according to experts. Plus the alcohol in mouthwash can dry out your mouth, another precursor for bad breath. Lastly, many people use mouthwash to mask poor dental care.

Brush and floss more regularly

Okay, so this isn’t the most surprising thing on this list, but bad dental hygiene is the most likely reason behind your bad breath. “Halitosis is often the first sign of poor oral hygiene that may eventually lead to further periodontal problems,” said Walter A. Bretz, DDS, PhD, an adjunct associate professor in the department of cariology and comprehensive care at New York University College of Dentistry and the lead author of a large-scale study on the subject. “A good way to prevent periodontal disease and tooth decay is through at-home oral hygiene care and routine dental visits.” So make sure you’re brushing and flossing daily.

.: Reader’s Digest

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