In this article, we are going to think about how to maintain fresh breath throughout the day. I was asked this on our Facebook page and thought it would be a useful topic to write about.
We all know that feeling when your mouth is starting to feel a bit furry around 11am. It’s been a few hours since breakfast. You may have had a cup of tea or a coffee and you can still feel it on your teeth.
When it’s been a little while since you last ate, you may feel bad breath creeping in. Other people may not notice but it’s still not a nice feeling.
So what can we do during the day to keep our mouth feeling fresh, not furry?
1. Drink water. This is really simple. It’s also good for you as well as your mouth. Drinking water through the day keeps you hydrated but also acts to flush your mouth and disturb the bacteria that cause bad breath.
2. Avoid tea and coffee. These hot drinks can leave your mouth feeling grotty. Tea and coffee contain tannins. It’s these tannins that stick to your teeth and make them feel furry. Then other bits and bobs stick to the tannin and this is how stain builds up. Once they are stuck on, they are very tricky to get off without professional cleaning.
3. Avoid smelly foods. Obvious, I know, but there are some foods that are smellier than others. I know the feeling of still being able to taste that garlic curry the day after.
4. Brush your tongue. Your tongue, especially the back bit, is a real harbour for bacteria that cause bad breath. So when brushing your teeth, brush your tongue as well. Try brushing as far back as you can. This doesn’t feel very nice at first but far back is where most of the bugs are hiding. Please remember, you tongue is a mucky place. It would be a good idea to have a separate for your tongue so you don’t spread the bugs from your tongue over your teeth.
5. Take a toothbrush to work. It can be nice to freshen your mouth up during the day with a quick brush. After lunch is a good time to do this. But if you have had anything acidic for lunch such as fruit or fizzy pop, you need to wait at least 30 minutes before brushing. Acidic food will soften the top layer of your enamel. If you brush straight after eating, you’re going to brush away that softened layer.
6. Use a fluoride mouthwash. I think that the best time to use a mouthwash is when you get in from a day at work. You can use it during the day but you may not want to carry a big bottle around with you. A fluoride mouthwash is great for your breath and your teeth.
7. Chew sugar free gum. This is certainly not a replacement for cleaning your teeth. But chewing sugar free gum gets the saliva flowing. Saliva is designed to wash over your teeth and protect your mouth. There are antibodies in your saliva and and there are salts like calcium that protect your teeth.