What’s the cure for bad breath? or Meet the toothbrush’s forgotten cousin

Most of us make sure to brush our teeth regularly, and in the best-case scenario, we also follow the dentist’s or hygienist’s orders to clean between the teeth every day. But what about that odd-looking gadget next to the toothbrushes, the tongue cleaner – can it really do any good?

Well, it depends if you care about your breath (and really, who doesn’t?).

It’s a widespread misunderstanding that bad breath usually has to do with stomach problems. Yes, strongly flavoured food and strong-smelling drinks can be a temporary cause, but a very common reason is, in fact, poor oral hygiene. Bacteria constantly form in your mouth and on your tongue and may cause an unpleasant odour if not removed properly. And – as you’ve probably guessed by now – a few strokes with the tongue cleaner is actually the easiest way to remove that nasty buildup on your tongue.

In some cases, you may need professional help. If you suffer from conditions like gum inflammation or loosening of teeth, treatment is necessary. Medication and some medical conditions can also be the source. Never be afraid to ask your dentist or hygienist for advice – they are familiar with these problems and will gladly recommend the best way to keep your teeth, gums and mouth healthy.

Three easy steps to prevent bad breath:

  • Brush your teeth, using a gentle toothbrush with fluoride toothpaste, twice a day.
  • Clean between the teeth – this is a hiding place for bacteria.
  • Use a tongue cleaner to remove bacterial build-up from the tongue surface.

Voilà – all set and ready to go!

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Fact-checked by DDS Anna Nilvéus Olofsson.

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