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If your bad breath causes people to avoid you, consider natural ways to combat the problem. Poor dental hygiene, such as not brushing your teeth or infrequent brushing, leads to dental plaque and gum diseases that cause a bacterial buildup and a bad odor in your mouth. Other factors, such as consuming strong flavored foods, poor hydration and a dry mouth condition, can give you bad breath. Preventive measures and lifestyle and dietary changes can improve the condition.
Brush your teeth at least twice each day with a soft-bristled toothbrush, especially after having a meal. Use a tongue scraper or a toothbrush that has a built-in tongue cleaner to get rid of bacteria on your tongue and prevent bad breath. Floss daily to remove food particles and plaque that may be embedded between your teeth. Replace your toothbrush every three or four months to ensure that it works effectively.
Modify Your Diet
Because what you eat will affect how your breath smells, avoid foods that encourage a bad breath, such as onions and garlic. Chew on sprigs of fresh mint and parsley after your meals to get rid of embarrassing mouth odors. Eat a well-balanced diet and include fibrous foods, fruits and vegetables with a high water content -- such as apples, raw carrots and celery -- that will help to expel the food leftovers from your mouth and prevent bad breath.
Keep your mouth moist by drinking plenty of water to prevent bacteria that cause bad breath. Avoid drinking too much coffee and alcohol, both of which can lead to a dry mouth and give you an unpleasant breath. Drink fruit and herbal teas, instead. Prevent a dry mouth by chewing sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva flow and encourage natural cleansing of your teeth and gums.
If you are a smoker, use snuff or other tobacco-based products, give up the habit to get rid of the offensive breath odor they cause. If you wear a bridge, braces, dentures or other retainers, clean them thoroughly at least once a day. Maintain a physical log or mental note of the foods you eat. If you believe that certain foods give you a bad breath, stop eating them.