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Expert advice on combating bad breath


Bad breath is usually related to an oral issue but improving your hygiene routine can help.

It is never a good time to have bad breath. File image.

Bad breath is usually related to an oral issue but improving your hygiene routine can help.

NATIONAL Fresh Breath Month is commemorated every February and during this “month of love”, it is even more important than ever to have fresh breath.

Whether you are going on a hot date, spending time with loved ones or just going about your daily life, there is never a time to have bad breath.

For National Fresh Breath Month, oral hygiene advisor at Ivohealth, Dirna Grobbelaar, shared the following tips to kiss goodbye to bad breath for good:

Identify the cause

Grobbelaar explained that bad breath is usually related to an oral issue. She believes that improving your daily oral hygiene routine can help with that.

“If an unpleasant odour persists, seek professional advice,” she said.


A dry mouth is an ideal environment for the bacteria that cause bad breath.

To combat this, Grobbelaar suggested drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day.

“If your mouth continues to feel dry or thirsty, you may have dry mouth (aka xerostomia).”

She added that a saliva substitute can also assist with a dry mouth as it helps to soothe and hydrate.

Effective oral hygiene

Grobbelaar stressed that a meticulous daily oral care routine was essential in avoiding bad breath.

“Brush correctly twice a day; clean in-between every day using floss or an inter-dental tool.”

She added that you can also gently scrape the tongue daily.

Avoid tobacco and alcohol

Grobbelaar said that these substances worsen bad breath, and that only a alcohol-free mouthwash should be used.

Have a professional clean with an oral hygienist

The oral health expert believes that this should ideally be done twice a year.

She also recommended going for an annual dental check-up.

In addition, Grobbelaar recommended having a fresh breath tool kit which should include:

  • A quality toothbrush with soft bristles.
  • Floss to remove plaque and food between the teeth.
  • An inter-dental brush to clean gaps between the teeth and around implants, crowns, bridges or braces.
  • A handy pick to use on-the-go.
  • A toothpaste that helps soothe and heal gums.
  • An alcohol-free mouthwash.
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