How to Remove Bad Breath

Three Methods:Removing Bad BreathAvoiding Bad BreathDiagnosing Chronic Bad Breath

Bad breath, also known as halitosis or malodor, can be a difficult and embarrassing condition to treat. Luckily, taking care of bad breath is not difficult. With some simple oral hygiene measures and a few lifestyle changes you can remove bad breathe for good.

Method 1
Removing Bad Breath

  1. Image titled Remove Bad Breath Step 1
    Brush your teeth for 2 minutes twice a day. This is the number one thing you can do to fight bad breath. Using a toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, brush in the morning and evening every day. Set a timer for two minutes or listen to a short song to keep time, since most people do not brush for long enough.[1] If you are really worried about bad breath, brush after every meal.
    • Don't "scrub" your teeth hard -- hold the brush like a pencil and brush in light circles[2]
    • Hold the brush at a 45 degree angle, just along the edge of the gum line.
    • Be sure to brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth as well.
    • Replace your brush every 2-3 months.
  2. Image titled Remove Bad Breath Step 2
    Floss once a day. Flossing is still the most effective way to remove food and plaque from between your teeth, where it can irritate your gums and lead to bad-smelling bacteria growth. Be sure to get each tooth from each side.
    • The floss should form a "C" shape around the tooth.
    • Only floss at the gum line. If your gums start bleeding, rinse your mouth and resume gentle flossing.
  3. Image titled Remove Bad Breath Step 3
    Use antibacterial mouthwash to clean your whole mouth. Use antibacterial mouthwash a few times a week after brushing and flossing. Never use mouthwash with alcohol since it dries out your mouth and worsens your breath in the long-term.[3]
    • Mouthwash generally masks bad breath instead of curing it, so make sure you are still brushing and flossing frequently.
  4. Image titled Remove Bad Breath Step 4
    Stay hydrated. Dehydration is a major cause of bad breath, but it is easily remedied. Make sure you drink 4-5 glasses of water a day to keep your mouth healthy and clean.[4]
  5. Image titled Remove Bad Breath Step 5
    Chew sugar-free gum. Gum promotes saliva creation in your mouth, which helps keep your mouth moist and the bacteria in balance. However, gum with sugar in it will make your breath worse, as sugar feeds the bacteria in your mouth and creates worse breath.
    • Having a piece of sugar free gum right after a meal can help keep your mouth healthy.[5]
  6. Image titled Remove Bad Breath Step 6
    Chew on fresh parsley to temporarily remove bad breath. Leafy green herbs like parsley contain chlorophyll, which is known to naturally deodorize your mouth. Chew up several sprigs for a quick breath freshener.[6][7]
    • Fresh basil, cardamom, rosemary, and green tea also have similar deodorizing properties
  7. Image titled Remove Bad Breath Step 7
    Add more zinc to your diet. Zinc, found in some mouthwashes, helps fight halitosis and prevent bad breath. It can be found in pumpkin seeds and other gourds (like squash), cacao, and organ meats like liver. It is also an essential part of most multi-vitamins and can be purchased as a supplement at your local pharmacy.[8]
  8. Image titled Remove Bad Breath Step 8
    Visit your dentist and oral hygienist every 6 to 8 months. Professional cleanings will remove plaque and help you notice any issues before they become problems. Be sure to make regular appointments and ask your dentist any questions you have about your breath.

Method 2
Avoiding Bad Breath

  1. Image titled Remove Bad Breath Step 9
    Take a probiotic once a day. Unbalanced bacteria in your digestive tract can lead to bad-smelling odors and gasses that make it into your breath. Probiotics, found at most supermarkets and pharmacies in the supplement section, help restore the balance of bacteria to your gut to improve your digestion, and your breath with it.[9]
  2. Image titled Remove Bad Breath Step 10
    Avoid spicy foods, garlic, and onions. These foods will cause bad breath no matter how much you brush your teeth. That's because, as they are digested, odor-causing chemicals seep into your bloodstream that are later breathed out through your lungs.[10]
    • If these foods are unavoidable then bring sugar-free gum or a small travel mouthwash and use it after eating.
  3. Image titled Remove Bad Breath Step 11
    Quit using tobacco products. Many cases of chronic bad breath are cause by cigarettes or chewing tobacco, which stain teeth and damage your gums. This can lead to bacteria growth and bad breath.[11]
  4. Image titled Remove Bad Breath Step 12
    Cut back on alcohol consumption. Beer, wine, and liquor can lead to bad breath 8-10 hours after you finish drinking.[12] Alcohol dries out your mouth, and the sugar in most drinks feeds bad-smelling bacteria.
  5. Image titled Remove Bad Breath Step 13
    Rinse your mouth after every meal. This is especially helpful if you cannot get to a toothbrush quickly. After eating, swill around a few sips of cool water and spit it out to remove food particles that could lead to bad breath.
  6. Image titled Remove Bad Breath Step 14
    Eat a complete, healthy diet. Be sure to eat a full diet of natural fruits, vegetables, and grains. Foods and drinks with a lot of sugar, like sodas and candy, will contribute heavily to bad breath.
    • Low-carbohydrate diets (few breads, pastas, grains, etc.) will lead to bad breath as your body releases "ketones," a foul smelling chemical.[13]
    • Fasting and extreme dieting can lead to bad breath which cannot be brushed away.[14]

Method 3
Diagnosing Chronic Bad Breath

  1. Image titled Remove Bad Breath Step 15
    Check for gum disease. Periodontitis, or gum disease, is when your gums recede from your teeth and create pockets of bacteria. Not only can periodontitis lead to uncontrollable bad breath, it can damage your teeth if not dealt with quickly. Symptoms include:
    • Inflamed or sensitive gums.
    • Loose teeth.
    • Bleeding or pain while brushing.[15]
  2. Image titled Remove Bad Breath Step 16
    See the dentist immediately for any cracked fillings and cavities. These are hotspots of infection that will cause bad-breath. If one of your teeth hurts constantly or becomes suddenly sensitive to temperature changes you should make a dental appointment as soon as you can.
  3. Image titled Remove Bad Breath Step 17
    Recognize potential stomach conditions that lead to bad breath. Conditions in your stomach like acid reflux can create bad smelling gas and chemicals that make it to your breath. Check with your doctor if you have a chronic upset stomach, trouble with digestion, and bad breath that lingers after brushing and mouthwash.
    • If your bad breath comes suddenly then if could be a sign of a larger condition. Make an appointment with your physician as soon as you can.[16]
  4. Image titled Remove Bad Breath Step 18
    Check the side-effects of your medication. Some medications can, unfortunately, lead to bad breath. Usually side-effects like "dry mouth" will lead to bacterial imbalance in your mouth, which in turn leads to bad breath. If the problem becomes too great, talk to your doctor about possible alternatives to your medication.
    • Commonly, medications that treat depression, anxiety, allergies, acne, and obesity can all lead to bad breath.[17]
  5. Image titled Remove Bad Breath Step 19
    Know that certain chronic conditions will lead to bad breath. Diabetes, chronic bronchitis, liver disease, and respiratory infections will all lead to bad breath that needs to be managed closely. Be sure to brush and floss often and have sugar-free gum on hand to mask any bad breath that you cannot treat.


  • Changing your toothbrush regularly will ensure you are always cleaning your mouth properly.
  • Brushing your teeth after every meal can keep you from every developing bad breath.


  • See your dentist or a doctor if your bad breath lasts for more than a week and does not respond to brushing and flossing.
  • Avoid mouthwash with alcohol.

Article Info

Categories: Health Hygiene