US dentist and bacteriologist, and founder of The Breath Company, Dr Harold Katz shares his top tips on what you can do to promote oral health and how to get rid of bad breath.
- Oral health begins with clean teeth and gums. As well as cleaning your teeth thoroughly to help prevent cavities, make sure you clean above the gum line(where your teeth meet your gums) to help prevent gum disease.
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day, and brush for at least two minutes at a time. Too many people rush this process (through boredom and routine) and end up missing whole teeth, or surfaces such as the back of the teeth.
- Use a good fluoride toothpaste (preferably without sulphate) such as Breath Company Fresh Breath Fluoride Toothpaste (£8.99). The detergents, foaming agents contained in most toothpastes can cause dry mouth (which leads to bad breath), and can even make mouth ulcers worse.
- Brush with a decent toothbrush, and consider investing in an electric toothbrush as these can help to reduce the build-up of plaque better than a manual toothbrush. Plus many have timers so you know how long you should be brushing for.
- Hold your toothbrush at a slight angle and gently brush with short back-and-forth motions.
- Remember to brush the outside, inside and chewing surfaces of your teeth, as well as yourtongue as this can help keep the breath fresh.
- Replace your toothbrush (or toothbrush head) every three to four months, or when thebristles start to fray. This helps to keep things clean and reduces the chances of harmfulbacteria developing on the brush.
- Flossing is one of the most important parts of oral health care as it gets right in between the teeth to clean those hard to reach areas.
- Use a good mouth rinse to finish. Steer clear of alcohol-based mouthwashes as these can cause dry mouth, and just mask odours rather than killing offbacteria. Try The Breath Company Oral Rinse – Icy Mint and Mild Mint(£12.99), which effectively stops the bacteria that cause bad breath without using any harsh chemical ingredients, and because it doesn’t contain alcohol,it doesn’t burn or sting after use. Plus it works for 12 hours, so you wake up with sweet-smelling breath in the morning!
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The Breath Company range is available in Boots stores nationwide and online at www.boots.com