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Do you suffer from halitosis, which is commonly called bad breath? There are a variety of methods to reach a mouth that feels fresh and clean.

Brush and floss more often.
The buildup on your teeth, which is called plaque, collects the bacteria that causes halitosis. Be sure to brush your teeth twice daily and floss once daily. If you want fresher breath, do both more often.

Rinse out your mouth.
Mouthwash freshens the breath and adds protection by getting rid of bacteria. Make sure that you select a mouthwash that kills the germs that cause bad breath. Swishing your mouth with water after meals can also help your breath, as it gets rid of food particles that get stuck in the teeth.

Brush or scrape your tongue.
The coating that forms on the tongue can cause bad breath. Brush your tongue with your toothbrush to get rid of the bacteria. Try a scraper if your toothbrush is too big to reach the back of your tongue.

Avoid foods and beverages that cause bad breath.
The following foods and beverages cause bad breath:

• Onions
• Garlic
• Cheese
• Pastrami
• Certain spices
• Orange juice
• Soda
• Alcohol

Brushing after you eat these foods doesn’t help, as the foods are absorbed into the bloodstream and move to the lungs. Bad breath will last until the culprit is no longer in the body. So, to avoid bad breath, don’t eat these foods—or at least avoid them before going to see friends.

Stop smoking.
In addition to causing cancer, smoking can harm the gums, stain the teeth, and cause halitosis. Nicotine patches can help you kick the habit. If you need extra help, ask your doctor about quit-smoking programs and medications that can help you.

See your dentist or doctor.
Gum disease and tooth decay cause bad breath. Our dentist can recommend treatment to correct these issues. You may also need to visit your doctor to see if there are any underlying medical reasons for your bad breath.