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How To: Combat Morning Breath

Fri, 25 October 2013 9:00AM

Okay so it’s not the sexiest of topics, but morning breath is definitely a thing – and a crap thing at that. I’m REALLY hoping you know what I’m talking about and I’m not the only one who suffers from it occasionally, because that would be extremely awkward and I might be forced to leave the country and live on a deserted island with Lindsay Lohan’s character in Mean Girls (who also admitted to having a morning breath…er…situation).

2991860-Lindsay-Lohan-CROP

Lindsay circa her Mean Girls era

If you ever wake up in the morning wondering what crawled into you mouth and died, you’ve definitely clicked on the right post (and that was possibly the grossest sentence I’ve ever typed in my life. Sorry). So what causes morning breath and how the heck do you send it back to fiery pits from whence it came? Leading dentist and Oral-B spokesperson Dr. Christopher Ho, has the answers.

“There are a few things that can cause bad morning breath – otherwise known as halitosis. One of the most common causes is ‘dry mouth.’ Saliva helps to break down bacteria and wash away food particles left in the mouth during the day. At night, the level of saliva can decrease resulting in ‘dry mouth’ where the bacteria left behind sticks around, leaving a bad smell in your mouth in the morning,” says Christopher.

So what can be done about it? Thankfully, plenty:

1. Rethink your diet

As you might have sussed out already, food and drink can have a huge impact on your breath. “Foods that include garlic and onions not only linger in the mouth, but also are absorbed into the bloodstream – which then escapes when you exhale. Drinking lots of coffee or alcohol can have a dehydrating effect on the mouth, which means it reduces the saliva levels and allows bad smelling bacteria to linger,” says Christopher.

Fresh fruit and veggies are breath-friendly options, but water is even more important. “Stay hydrated throughout the day and night to help wash away any excess bacteria that may be stuck to your teeth and help compensate for the lack of saliva while you sleep.”

2. Dental hygiene ≠ optional

A lazy 30-second session with your toothbrush isn’t going to cut it. If you’re going to nix morning breath, you have to make a solid effort. “Make sure you adopt a good oral care routine of brushing your teeth for two minutes and flossing [particularly before going to bed] to help eliminate the bacteria and food particles between your teeth and along the gum line,” says Christopher.

Mouthwash is also handy. “Using an oral mouthwash is an important step in helping to reduce plaque. It can also be effective for maintaining good oral hygiene and fresh breath. However, mouthwash alone will not completely combat the plaque and bacteria causing your bad breath. For a successful at-home oral care regime, also ensure that you floss daily as well as brushing for two minutes, twice a day.”

3. Show your tongue some TLC

You know those weird little rubbery nodules on the back of many toothbrush heads? They’re tongue cleaners, and they’re here to help. “Bad breath can often be caused by bacteria on the tongue and decaying food debris on the back of the tongue. Mints, mouthwashes, gum or spray might temporarily mask odours, however regular tongue brushing is an effective way to help prevent bad breath caused from bacteria on the tongue,” says Christopher.

4. Invest in an electric toothbrush

Unless you have a perfect brushing technique, it’s worth forking out the extra cash for a power toothbrush because they remove way more plaque than a regular manual toothbrush. Try the new Oral-B 7000 Black, $299.99, from Shaver Shop.

oralb

4. Make friends with mint

Sugar-free gum and mints can help keep your breath fresh throughout the day, but for a more glamourous option, pop on a mint-infused gloss. Try Australis Mint Condition Lip Gloss, $8.95, from pharmacies, or Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1 in Mint, $12, from department stores.

mint-gloss

Lauren x

Do you suffer from morning breath Primpers? C’mon, ‘fess up…

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20 Comments

  • Posted by: talkalot Master Fan // Fri, 25 October 2013 02:28pm

    Morning breath can be shocking, if it is to bad then it’s a sign something in not right with teeth or tonsils perhaps.
    Freshmint toothpaste, mints and sugarless gum are all great ways to freshen breath.

  • Posted by: Caz // Sat, 26 October 2013 11:45am

    hehe Lindsay hasn’t looked that good for years. I find that cleaning my teeth is the only way to freshen breath. Brushing the tongue is essential.

  • Posted by: alanakateh Master Fan // Sat, 26 October 2013 04:21pm

    Oh, I am having flashbacks to my days as a flight attendant. I hated waking passengers up for breakfast and copping their morning breath. So gross. I have always been a fan of brushing my tongue. Love the sound of those lipglosses.

  • Posted by: Nyamogo // Mon, 28 October 2013 07:55am

    Great!

  • Posted by: carla // Mon, 28 October 2013 09:03am

    I’m all for an electric toothbrush, I love mine! But one that is $300 from Target?? That sounds terribly unreasonable! Is it gold plated??

  • Posted by: Fred // Mon, 28 October 2013 09:15am

    I hate bad morning breath. I have experience with it and I like the tips given in this article to avoid it

  • Posted by: Anonymous // Mon, 28 October 2013 09:26am

    I’m not going to pay $300 for a toothbrush.

  • Posted by: jasmine // Mon, 28 October 2013 10:43am

    Great tips is the electric toothbrush really 299.99??
    Bad breath is bad MMMK!

  • Posted by: Miss Makeup Master Fan // Mon, 28 October 2013 01:45pm

    I think everyone suffers from morning breath! In my experience brushing your teeth and gargling the mouthwash is the best way to get rid of it! @alanakateh ^ I can only imagine how that must’ve been for you. My gagging reflex would have been present!

  • Posted by: Lauren-1339916162 Master Fan // Thu, 31 October 2013 12:17pm

    I’ve recently gotten back into using my electric toothbrush. I switched to manual for a while but my teeth never feel as nice.

  • Posted by: PrettyPrincess Master Fan // Wed, 6 November 2013 04:27pm

    Priceline had in their catalogue an electric toothbrush for about $60 I think.

  • Posted by: diva89 Master Fan // Sun, 10 November 2013 02:41pm

    great tips

  • Posted by: brookieliz Master Fan // Thu, 28 November 2013 06:09pm

    I seem to remember a study been done where they compared electric to manual toothbrushes and found that it’s the amount of time and thoroughness of brushing that made the difference, rather than how high-tech the brush was.

  • Posted by: missselin Devotee // Wed, 11 December 2013 12:51pm

    Thank goodness I do not suffer from morning breath, but those lip glosses look nice!

  • Posted by: diva89 Master Fan // Sat, 28 December 2013 06:05pm

    there are much cheaper electronic toothbrushes

  • Posted by: -PinkPanda- Supporter // Tue, 11 March 2014 07:30pm

    Do you have any other tooth brush alternatives?

  • Posted by: beautiful87 Master Fan // Wed, 12 March 2014 08:26pm

    Great tips.

  • Posted by: Lewjac Devotee // Thu, 13 March 2014 01:03am

    my dentist said not to bother with mouthwashes as they don’t have strong enough active ingredients to kill anything, (if they did they’d be harmful if you ingest), and it only ends up staining your teeth which means more harsh chemical whitening. the key is to floss every time not just brushing! and drink water

  • Posted by: Helen // Thu, 26 June 2014 05:22pm

    I switched to a sonic toothbrush recently after my electric brush of 10 years gave up on me, and have noticed a dramatic improvement in my morning breath. Despite flossing and using mouthwash with my electric toothbrush it was never this good. I’ll never go back, sonic all the way.

  • Posted by: brinsley Master Fan // Fri, 4 July 2014 09:42pm

    hehehehe … I have a great tongue cleaner .. you would be amazed at how much gunk you can get off your tongue with one!

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