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Change Your Breath From Bad to Good

Bad breath is embarrassing, unpleasant, and all too common. These eight easy tips will sweeten your breath for good.

By Sarah Albert
WebMD Feature

Reviewed By Charlotte Grayson

We've all found ourselves chatting with someone whose breath could easily wilt a flower. With more than 90 million people suffering from chronic bad breath (also called halitosis), that's a lot of wilted flowers. If you (or someone you regularly smooch) has an attack of bad breath that even Altoids won't fix, try these eight simple tips to fix the problem.

Don't let your tongue become a dirty carpet.

Bad breath often strikes when people aren't properly taking care of their oral health. The odor is usually caused by decaying food particles and bacteria in your mouth. That's why brushing and flossing your teeth is so important, but don't forget to gently brush your tongue to get rid of even more bacteria.

A clean tongue goes a long way to warding off bad breath, says Stephen Z. Wolner, a dentist in private practice in New York City. "Your tongue microscopically is like a shaggy carpet. There are millions of filaments on your tongue that trap tiny food particles and bacteria," he says. Get in the habit of regularly cleaning your tongue using a toothbrush, the edge of a spoon, or a tongue cleaner. If you have any mouth guards or oral devices, make sure to clean them thoroughly before putting them back in your mouth.