The 3 Best Ways to Fight Bad Breath


No one likes bad breath (halitosis), and though it can sometimes be difficult to know yourself that you have it, it is always better to practice good oral hygiene than to risk having a smelly mouth. While there are many ways to reduce or eliminate bad breath, some are definitely more effective and longer-lasting than others.

Here are the 3 best ways to fight bad breath:

Floss Daily
Hard as it may can be to remember to floss daily, when it comes to bad breath, flossing is one of THE easiest and most cost-effective ways to freshen your mouth and breath. Flossing reduces the plaque and bacteria found in areas of your mouth that brushing simply can’t reach, and therefore, rids your mouth of the bad smell associated with that bacteria. While flossing may not eliminate bad breath on its own, if you combine it with other healthy oral hygiene habits like brushing, you will surely have a fresher, cleaner smelling (and feeling) mouth.

Use A Mouthwash
Using a mouthwash can really freshen your breath, especially if you find it still smells after brushing and flossing. There is a wide selection of mouthwash products to choose from, but if you are budget-conscious, you can also create your own mouthwash by simply mixing baking soda with water.

Here’s an easy recipe to make your own flavored mouthwash.
A lidded container – you can use a small mason jar
½ cup filtered or distilled water
2 tsp baking soda
2 drops peppermint essential oil

Baking soda will tend to settle to the bottom of the mason jar, so be sure to shake your mouthwash before each use. Swish about 2-3 teaspoons of your homemade formula in your mouth for a minute or two. As with any mouthwash, try to avoid swallowing it while gargling.

Be Sure To Brush After You Sleep
Whether waking after taking an afternoon nap, or in the morning after a full night’s sleep, you should brush your teeth in order to reduce bad breath. The reason for this is, bacteria accumulates in your mouth while you are sleeping (even during a short cat nap) and that is ultimately the source of your bad breath. The next time you wake from a good sleep, give your teeth, tongue and mouth some brushing and you will find that practicing this simple habit makes a big difference in the freshness of your breath.

There are many healthier ways to freshen your breath beyond just using gum or mints. The 3 tips above are (in our opinion) the best remedies for you to try. Put them to the test and you will most likely find that your bad breath problem is resolved, or at least considerably reduced. Of course, you can always ask Dr. Horner or Dr. Barrow about dealing with your halitosis during your next visit to our Sioux Falls, SD office.

At Horner Barrow Orthodontics, we are committed to helping you keep your smile and your mouth healthy and beautiful!

Toothbrushes 101. Manual vs. electric. Is one better than the other?

Some folks would rather mow their lawn with a push mower, drive a stick-shift vehicle, and prefer sailboats to motorboats. When faced with choosing a toothbrush, those same folks would most likely pick the old reliable, dependable, disposable, do-it-yourself manual toothbrush. But what about those people who can’t live without their smartphones, DVRs, and tablet computers? They want the latest and greatest gadgets and gizmos, and are more likely to embrace new technologies.
Personal preference aside, when used properly, both manual and powered (electric) toothbrushes are great options for removing plaque and keeping teeth and gums healthy. So how do you choose the best toothbrush for you?

Here are a few points to consider:
Cost. Electric toothbrushes are definitely more expensive. While high-end options can cost close to $100, you can find some effective powered brushes in the $10 range. Remember to factor in the added cost of batteries and replacement brush heads to your toothbrush budget.
Dexterity. People who have limited manual dexterity, such as very young children, the elderly, or those suffering from injury or arthritis, might find it easier and more effective to reach and clean areas of their mouth with an electric toothbrush.
Oral hygiene habits. If you have a hard time brushing your teeth on a regular basis, and you find you like the feeling of brushing with an electric toothbrush, then you should most definitely use the toothbrush that will encourage you to brush most often.
Perseverance. No matter what kind of toothbrush you ultimately choose, it’s important that you use it properly. While some brushes may require circular motions to be effective (manual brushes) others may require an angled glide over the teeth (power brushes). Brush your teeth two times a day, for two minutes each time. Fully brush the inner, outer and top surface areas of your teeth, and brush all the way down to the gum line. Don’t forget those hard-to-reach areas in the back of your mouth. Please ask your oral hygienist to advise you on optimal brushing techniques considering your toothbrush selection.
Lastly, remember that while brushing and flossing daily will help you maintain good oral health, regular professional cleanings are also vitally important to keeping your teeth and gums in tip-top shape, especially during orthodontic treatment. If you have any questions about brushing habits, please feel free to give us a call. At Horner Barrow Orthodontics, we want to help you have a healthy, beautiful, straight smile for life!