Occasional bad breath is usually due to bacteria, certain foods or a dry mouth. When bad breath doesn't respond to self-care, ask your dentist to check for gum disease or poor-fitting dental work or see your doctor for a possible medical cause. To fight bad breath:
� Brush and floss after you eat
Good dental hygiene is the best way to prevent odor.
� Brush your tongue
Giving your tongue, including the back of your tongue, a good brushing removes dead cells, bacteria and food debris. Some people may benefit from using a tongue scraper, available at many pharmacies.
� Chew sugar-free gum
The action stimulates flow of saliva to prevent dry mouth and to wash away food particles and bacteria.
� Rinse your mouth with water
Periodically swish your mouth with water to help keep it clean.
� Don't smoke
Smoking dries out your mouth and causes its own unpleasant
� Cut down on odor-causing foods and beverages
The most likely offenders are garlic, onions, fish, milk, eggs, legumes, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, coffee and alcohol.
� Carry mouthwash or breath mints
Not all mouthwashes fight bacteria, but they disguise bad breath. The strong oils in peppermint, spearmint and winter- green also cover up odor.