New Delhi: Reasons for bad breath may vary from oral dehydration to underlying diseases or simply the kind of food one eats. Go for a spoon test, drink water and rinse your mouth to keep a check on bad breath, says an expert.
Here are a few habit changes, suggested by Chandrika Mahendra, Principal Scientist, Research and Development (Personal care), The Himalaya Drug Company, that can help you:
* A periodic breath-test is important to keep a check on not only bad breath but also other indicative health conditions. And, isn't it better to be proactive and avoid the embarrassment caused by someone subtly offering you a mint? Cupping your hands around the mouth and sniffing may not be the best way to check your breath. The easy and quick spoon test does the job better. All you need to do is scrape the back of your tongue with the tip of a spoon, allow it to dry and smell-test it.
* In most of the cases, the root cause for bad breath is a dry and dehydrated mouth. In other cases, you may blame the food that you relish. Ingredients like garlic and onion, coffee and alcohol can temporarily cause bad breath. Cigarette smoking is also responsible for dehydration of mouth leading to a bad mouth odour. One may fight this condition by drinking ample amount of water. Water not only keeps your mouth hydrated but also helps flush out all the bacteria and toxins that cause oral disorders and bad breath.
* Raw and crunchy fruits and vegetables help scrape out the built-up plaque in your teeth and gums that cause bad breath. Fruits like apple, pear, watermelon and vegetables like carrot and radish work well as natural breath fresheners in the long run.
* Brushing after every meal may not be the most feasible way for you unless you find it more convenient to carry your complete dental kit around. Having a mouthwash handy always saves your life when you decide on a last minute date or even an official meeting. What needs to be kept in mind is that the mouthwash you use must be alcohol-free and preferably herbal. Look out for ingredients like neem, fennel oil and mint in your mouthwash. Alcohol containing mouthwashes may do more damage with prolonged usage.
* An expert's advice is always required. Make it a routine to visit your dentist at least once in three months.