Sunday, Mar 26, 2023

5 Quick Fixes to Treat Bad Breath, Dull Teeth, and Other Dental Problems

For the 76 percent of us with a dental complaint we can’t shake, help is here. These five simple swaps can help improve dental hygiene, leave your..

5 Quick Fixes to Treat Bad Breath, Dull Teeth, and Other Dental Problems

Funky breath?

Instead of swishing with mouthwash, suck on a zinc lozenge. Stony Brook University research suggests it may keep breath fresh 12 times longer. Ordinary mouth rinses kill all bacteria, nixing good microbes and bad. But zinc targets and destroys only odor-causing bacteria.

Cavity prone?

Most of us get enough cavity-blocking fluoride from toothpaste and drinking water. But after eating, plaque feeds off traces of sugar in the mouth, upping cavity risk. Luckily, chewing xylitol-sweetened gum for 10 minutes post-meal cuts cavities up to 70 percent, per a JAMA study. Xylitol blocks bacterial growth and ups saliva flow, says Angelique Freking, DDS, with Park Slope Dentistry. Bonus: Nixing excess fluoride cuts odds of hypothyroidism up to 50 percent, UK scientists say.

Bleeding gums?

Floss before brushing instead of after, and research in the Journal of Periodontology suggests you’ll nix bleeding. It removes notably more bacteria, and “the less bacteria, the less gum disease,” adds Dr. Freking. Bonus: Healthy gums add up to six years to your life.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.