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Hot Weather & Bad Breath: How to Keep Your Mouth Fresh All Summer

a woman smiling wearing sunglasses

Ah, summertime! When the sun is bright and yard sprinklers are a fun way to pass an afternoon. It’s the season for sunscreen, cookouts, and lazy evenings watching the stars come out. Unfortunately, it’s also the season that creates perfect conditions for stinky breath.

If you’ve noticed that your breath isn’t as fresh as it usually is, don’t worry – you’re not alone. It’s estimated that 65% of Canadians deal with bad breath. Today, we’re going to discover why the smell of your breath gets worse in the summer, what that means for your oral health, and what you can do to fight the problem.

Why Does Breath Get Worse in the Summer?

As the weather heats up, your body has to expend more water to keep you cool. If you’re not conscientious about drinking water, this can lead to dehydration. When you get dehydrated, you don’t have enough water to make saliva like you normally do, which means that you can’t wash away bacteria or neutralize acids. Those acids get to work on the dead cells hanging out in your mouth, which leads to raunchy breath.

Obviously, this isn’t an outcome anyone wants – so what can you do to keep halitosis at bay?

How to Fight Back Against Bad Breath

Drink Plenty of Water

Staying hydrated is essential for your body, but it’s also a key factor in maintaining good oral health, too. Water helps wash away any food particles that remain after a meal, and it makes it easier for you to produce saliva, which not only neutralizes acids but also helps restore the minerals in your enamel. If you have trouble remembering to drink water, there are a bunch of smartphone apps that provide gentle reminders. You can also make it a habit to keep water near you at all times to sip on throughout the day.

Brush and Floss Every Day

There’s no two ways about it – the best way to keep your breath fresh is to do exactly what your Barrie dentist told you to do at your last cleaning. Brush for at least two minutes, twice a day, and floss. This takes care of removing food particles and plaque which, when left alone in a hot and humid environment, can begin to produce unappealing smells and taint your breath. Plus, keeping plaque away from your gum line and off your teeth helps reduce your risk of gingivitis – it’s a win-win!

Keep Your Tongue Clean

Many folks think that cleaning their tongue means giving it a scrub with their toothbrush, but actually, we want to recommend against doing this. Does it clean your tongue? Sure, but it also puts you at risk of accidentally scraping or scratching your tongue. Instead, use a tongue scraper. It’ll gently clean and remove any gunk on your tongue, making it easier for you to keep bacteria out of your mouth.

Got Dentures or Retainers? Clean ‘Em!

Just because you may not notice your dentures or retainer doesn’t mean you get a pass on cleaning them. If they’re removable, take them out and clean them every night. You might even want to give them a rinse after eating a meal if you’ve noticed that they’re particularly prone to catching food particles. If you’re not sure how to clean your dentures or retainer, ask your dentist. They’ll be able to advise you as to the proper procedure.

Watch Your Sugar Intake

Enjoying an ice cream cone as you stroll along the beach is an iconic summer image, but it could be contributing to your bad breath (and it’s definitely not helping your teeth). The bacteria responsible for bad breath absolutely loves nothing better than a sugary snack, and if summer sees you drifting in a pool of sodas, sugary alcoholic beverages, and ice cream treats, you’re probably going to have bad breath to match.

Keep an Eye on Your Spit

Sure, saliva isn’t the coolest thing to talk about, but we really can’t say enough how important it is to maintain your oral health. If your mouth is feeling a little dry, drink some water. You can also chew sugar-free gum to help stimulate saliva production. If your mouth is unusually dry, or if it happens suddenly, it could be an indicator of a secondary issue; in that case, your best bet is to make an appointment with your dentist to figure out what’s going on.

Just Say No to Smoking

If you’re a smoker and you want better breath – well, you probably already know what we’re going to say. Smoking is one of the worst offenders for causing bad breath. It also dries out your mouth (which definitely doesn’t help in the summertime). Pass on the cigarettes or pipe, and your mouth will be more inclined to smell fresher and better.

How Your Barrie Dentist Can Help

All of these suggestions are great for at-home care and maintenance, but there’s just no substitute for a professional eye to look things over. In addition to checking to make sure that you’re still in good oral health, your dentist will be able to help you figure out the cause of particularly persistent bad breath or uncommon dry mouth.

If you’re overdue for a visit with your Barrie dentist, or if you have any questions about the care and health of your teeth, give us a call at (705) 721-1143. You can also contact us by sending us a message or through our online chat service.

Dr. Elston Wong Portrait

About Dr. Elston Wong

Dr. Elston Wong completed his dental degree at The University of Toronto in 1999 before arriving in Barrie in 2002. After graduating, he continued to learn everything he could about dentistry. Now he has taken the time to share important information for anyone to read.

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