Just about everyone suffers from bad morning breath to some extent. It’s natural—our mouths produce much less saliva while we’re sleeping, and since saliva is one of the mouth’s main weapons against bad breath, our palettes are left somewhat defenseless to the bad breath causing bacteria that thrive in our mouths while we sleep. But this doesn’t mean that how our breath smells in the morning is completely out of our control. In fact, there are quite a few preventative measures we can take to help reduce the likelihood of bad breath in the morning. Here are a few key tips you can follow.
Brush and Floss Thoroughly Before Bed
If you’ve been slacking when it comes to brushing your teeth at night, better morning breath is yet another reason to kick back into better habits. Brushing for at least two minutes—this includes brushing your tongue—and following up with flossing will remove food particles and plaque from the mouth that would otherwise collect bacteria and contribute to bad smelling breath overnight.
Use an Alcohol-Free Mouthwash
Mouthwash is a great tool for killing bad breath causing bacteria that are still lingering in the mouth after a thorough teeth brushing. Keep in mind, though, that not all mouthwashes are created equal when it comes to long-term fresh breath maintenance. Alcohol, a common ingredient in mouthwashes, tends to dry out the mouth, which in turn makes your mouth a breeding ground for bad breath causing bacteria. Using a mouthwash that is free of alcohol before bed is a great way to make sure your mouth doesn’t lose excess moisture needed to fight bad breath.
Take a Glass of Water to Bed
On a similar note, taking a glass of water to bed with you and setting it on your nightstand can also help to keep your palette wet. Moreover, the water can help to flush away bacteria on those occasions when you sip it in the middle of the night. Take a few sips before bed, and if you happen to wake up in the middle of the night and feel parched, take a few sips then too.
Reduce Coffee and Alcohol Intake
As you may have guessed, coffee and alcohol have a drying effect on the mouth when consumed, which results in reduced saliva production. Reducing your intake of these drinks will help to keep bacteria-killing saliva production up.
Don’t Breathe through Your Mouth as You Sleep
Breathing through your mouth dries out the mouth very quickly, which as we now know, isn’t conducive to sweet smelling breath. How you breath is difficult to control while you’re sleeping, of course, but making sure your nasal passages are clear before you head to sleep can help reduce the likelihood of mouth breathing during the night.