Let’s face it, we’ve all failed the “breathe in the palm and sniff” breath test at one time or another. The cause of bad breath is often poor oral hygiene habits and just like all other habits related to health and fitness – practice makes perfect. So here’s five good oral hygiene habits that will help you keep your breath perfectly fresh and clean smelling.
Brush like you mean it.
Most of us spend more time in our morning routine sculpting the perfect eyebrow than brushing our teeth, am I right, girls? For a thorough cleaning though, dentists recommend spending two to three minutes on those pearly whites. That’s about the length of the average song, so while you’re groovin’ keep that toothbrush movin’.
Scrape that tongue.
We don’t like to think about it, but the tongue can harbor odors. Bacteria and food bits get all cozy under the nice warm blanket of mucus and you need to rouse them up and out of there with a gentle brushing. Start at the back of the tongue and work the toothbrush (or tongue scraper) forward. Don’t forget to rinse thoroughly afterward.
Floss like a boss.
Flossing removes odor causing bacteria and trapped food from between your teeth. For maximum benefit, floss before you brush by wrapping the floss around each tooth and moving it in an up and down motion. Think it won’t make a difference? Take a whiff of the floss after you’ve used it. If the aroma is of the unpleasant variety, chances are your breath is too.
Wash your mouth out.
A good rinse with natural mouthwash helps remove any lingering bacteria or food particles that remain after brushing and flossing. Many commercial brands contain high amounts of alcohol which dry the mouth out, resulting in the very thing they are supposed to counteract: bad breath. Keep the alcohol in your martini glass and use a homemade mouthwash instead. Mix five drops each of tea tree and peppermint essential oil, into two cups of spring water. Take a swig, swirl it around in your mouth for 30 seconds and spit it out. The tea tree can help combat bacteria and the peppermint will freshen your breath.
Try a coconut pull.
Long before toothbrushes and green drinks, girls were using the Ayurvedic practice of coconut pulls to detoxify and cleanse their mouths and bodies. It’s quite simple to do. Start out with just a teaspoon (eventually working up to a tablespoon) of organic coconut oil and swish it around gently in your mouth for about 20 minutes. Do this first thing in the morning, before brushing your teeth. Coconut pulls are said to reduce bacteria and bad breath while inducing many other health benefits. Try to do them three to four times a week, if you can.
When it comes to fresh and clean breath, good oral hygiene is a girl’s best friend. Practice these habits and you won’t have to worry about failing that “sniff breath” test. If you need a little help in between brushings, try my Moondani Natural Breath Mist for a quick freshen up.