Ask an Oral Health Expert

Lipstick Powder N Paint wants you to be beautiful­ ‑ inside and out ‑ and the best way to do that is to make sure you have all your questions answered by true beauty experts. Every Monday, our experts will be answering your questions about skincare, makeup, hair and oral health.

Today’s expert is Dr. Lee Gause, DDS of Smile Design Manhattan.

dr-lee-gause-ddsDr. Lee Gause DDS is the head of Smile Design Manhattan, New York’s premiere state-of-the-art dental facility, and a member of various dental associations including the ADA, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentists, International College of Oral Implantologists and New York Invisalign Study Group. Dr Gause is also the recipient of several prestigious awards including “2006 Recognition for Lecturing to Young Dentists,” presented by Health and Hospitals Corporation, “Oral Biology Award,” from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and “Graduating Dentist Award: Exemplary Character and Highest Level of Clinical Skill” and “Best in Residency Award,”given by Howard University.

Today’s question is one we’ve all probably wondered at some point…

Q: What is the best way to battle bad breath. Should I use mouthwash? Should I brush my tongue? Help!

A: Bad breath is incredibly easy (and necessary) to prevent! Here’s how: Floss your teeth daily! Food particles get stuck between the teeth when we eat. These particles are not removed when we brush, because the toothbrush physically does not fit between the teeth and under the gums. Only floss cleans out these hard to reach places. If food particles are left in the mouth they are fuel on the fire for bad breath.

Brushing or scraping the tongue with a tongue scraper is another great way to avoid bad breath. Again, food particles live in the tiny crevices on the tongue and feed the bacteria.

Mouthwash is another great thing, but only if the mouthwash is ADA approved. ADA approved mouthwashes have been tested, and have demonstrated that they decrease the bacteria that cause bad breath. (look for the little stamp on the bottle).

Chewing sugarless gum between meals actually make the mouth cleaner by increasing the amount of saliva in the mouth which has a protective function. Just don’t overdo it, because too much gum chewing can cause TMJ.

Finally, see your dentist twice per year for cleanings. Some build-up called tartar is nearly impossible to brush off. Tartar is a harbor for bacteria, and these bacteria cause not only bad breath, but gum disease and recession.

So, to answer your question: Floss, brush, scrape, rinse and see your dentist regularly.

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