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There are many reasons that regular oral care is important, but breath odor is a major factor that concerns many people. Even if you do brush regularly, acid and bacteria work together to create the conditions that cause your breath to develop an unpleasant odor. While visiting your Los Angeles area dentist every six months is one way to help keep your mouth healthy and your breath pleasant, there are other things you can do to promote better breath. 

Develop a Proper Brushing Technique 
Of course, we know that it's important to brush our teeth at least twice daily, but how we brush is just as important. Brushing should be supplemented by regular flossing and the use of a fluoride-based mouthwash for the maximum effect on eliminating bad breath. In addition to leading to bad breath, failing to develop a good schedule of brushing and flossing can lead to gum disease.

Utilizing a good strategy for brushing your teeth can help whiten your teeth, as well as chasing away bad odors and protecting teeth against decay. For the best results, the toothbrush should be held at a forty-five degree angle against the teeth. While maintaining this angle, the brush should be moved in a circular motion against the teeth. Be careful not to press too hard, because this can erode enamel and damage gums. Instead of scrubbing your teeth, try to polish them. Done correctly, this process will remove bacteria and food particles from difficult to reach areas. 

Clean Your Tongue 
As you sleep, your tongue attracts bacteria that causes a film to develop on its surface, which makes the tongue the leading source of bad breath. There are grooves in the tongue that act as traps for germs, attracting bacteria and keeping it stuck in the mouth. For this reason, you should brush your tongue with your toothbrush, during each morning brushing session. 

For best results, you might want to consider investing in a tongue brush. These are devices especially designed to clean out those grooves in the tongue and eliminate the bacteria that gathers there. However, a toothbrush can also do an adequate job, if you don't have access to a tongue brush. Even swiping the tongue with a toothbrush, moving from back to front, is better than to ignore that area of the mouth. 

Watch Your Diet 
While you may know that garlic, or onions, can cause some pretty nasty bad breath, there are other foods that can also affect your breath. While you may not think to suspect them, foods like alcohol, dairy products, and coffee can all pose a problem. Coffee and alcohol cause you to become dehydrated, which causes your mouth to become dry as a result. A dry mouth is an ideal climate for bacteria to manifest and breed, which leads to bad breath odors. 
Similarly, tobacco smoking also wreaks havoc with your breath. Since it can contribute to gum disease as well, the best thing to do is to quit smoking altogether. Chewing a nicotine gum can help you quit and the chewing action creates saliva, which is beneficial to oral health. 

Drink Water 
As previously mentioned, letting yourself become hydrated is a major cause of bad breath, as well as being an overall unhealthy condition. The reason drinking water helps eliminate bad breath is that the moisture aids the saliva glands, promoting production of more saliva. The saliva contains specific compounds that are used to cleanse the mouth of bacteria, which is the cause of bad breath. 

Water can also help cleanse the tongue, which we know is the largest source of harmful bacteria in the mouth. Simply rinsing with water can help reduce the bacteria on the tongue.

How Do You Sleep? 
Yes, even the way you sleep can contribute to bad breath. For instance, sleeping with your mouth open causes you to attract more bacteria toward your mouth. This often results in a stale taste in the mouth, as well as foul morning breath. The problem is complicated by the fact that saliva production slows, as we sleep, causing our mouths to become dry. 

While it may take time, it can be beneficial to train yourself to sleep with your mouth closed. It can seem uncomfortable to breathe through your nose at first, but practice will make this second nature. Sleeping with your mouth closed will also help you improve your overall oral hygiene. Drawing less bacteria into your mouth, as you sleep, will create less of a chance of disease and decay developing. 

If you practice good oral care techniques and follow these suggestions, bad breath should be corrected. If the problem persists, there may be an underlying dental problem. Contact Smile Angels of Beverly Hills for a free consultation in the Los Angeles area. An initial consultation can uncover problems that may be causing your bad breath and bring you closer to a treatment to resolve the situation. In some cases, you may only need a thorough, professional teeth cleaning. The professionals at Smile Angels of Beverly Hills can determine how best to help you, so you won't have to feel ashamed to speak, or smile.