What Is The Best Toothpaste & Mouthwash For Bad Breath?

Breath. Image credit: thefuturistics @ Flickr

It might surprise you to find the best toothpaste and mouthwash for bad breath is neither a toothpaste or a mouthwash - but BOTH in one!

Breath odor can be unpleasant for others, and embarrassing for you. I know only too well because that was me too! Not as bad as some people suffer, but enough to make people keep their distance (or move backwards without trying to look like they were).

But it's really common and affects a ton of people. It's just nature, but you can fight bad breath - you just need a little help in dealing with it. So, here's how to fix bad breath.

First, What Causes It?

Most of the causes that lead to bad breath problems are preventable, they just require a little discipline. But it's totally worth it to avoid the embarrassment, especially in social situations.

One of the major causes comes from insufficient oral hygiene. And I don't just mean cleaning your teeth. Although slowing down and taking the time to get this right will help. Be slow, gentle and thorough. (Will just 1 minute extra really make you late for work..?). And brush your tongue too!

The harmful bacteria in your mouth that causes tooth decay can also contribute to all sorts of other illnesses. So there are even bigger reasons not to neglect this step.

Clean Your Toothbrush!

Most of us know to change our toothbrush at regular intervals (usually 3 - 6 months). Obviously brushes do wear out. But if yours is wearing out quicker than that, you're probably brushing too hard and damaging your gums.

But that's NOT the only reason to change your brush.

Germs and bacteria build up on our brushes, as the American Dental Association says. They are the perfect breeding ground. They sit in the open, often in a warm damp room, and get wet at least twice a day. They rarely get a chance to dry out - and that moisture and warmth is the perfect breeding ground.

It's also often in the same room as a toilet. Would you feel comfortable eating with a knife and fork stored in the bathroom..? Two words - toilet spray (it can travel 6 feet)!

So rinse and dry it as best you can after use. Then, store your toothbrush upright (not flat) in a cupboard.

Plus regularly clean your brush. At least once a week.

There's two easy ways you can do this - UV light, or the dishwasher.

Now there are lots of neat gadgets you could buy that use UV (ultra violet) light to sanitise your brush. But you could also try to remember to put your toothbrush in the sun for 10-15 minutes each time after using it (dry it first).

You can also use the dishwasher. Just pop it in with your dishes. Some people say this could damage your brush, but mine have been fine. There's nothing wrong with owning 2 or 3 brushes to make this more convenient!

Mouthwash Can Make Things WORSE!

Saliva is your bodies natural mouthwash - it helps to clean your mouth, neutralize plaque acid and reduce bacteria. Alcohol based mouthwashes (most are!) can actually hurt this process. It may feel fresher at first, but then the bad stuff comes back with a vengeance!

So if you're still using mouthwash, stop, there's a better way.

I switched from using mouthwash, and toothpaste, and breath fresheners - to just using a completely natural all-in-one solution called Dental Pro 7. You don't need all those other products anymore because not only is it incredibly refreshing (so fresh it even takes a bit of getting used to!) but the natural oils stick around on your teeth and gums keeping them fresh AND continuing to fight bacteria.

For me, this really is the best toothpaste AND mouthwash for bad breath.

It's also a convenient product to carry around (it's highly concentrated so the bottle is ridiculously small). But I also carry a sugar free chewing gum which includes Xylitol for those times away from home where I can't conveniently use a brush. There is strong clinical evidence for using gum too - just 10 minutes chewing after eating is enough.

Morning Breath

Saliva production slows greatly while you sleep, which can cause bacteria lurking in the mouth to breed greatly - hence that morning dragon breath. Which is why cleaning your teeth as soon as you get up is a must.

Other Reasons For Bad Breath

Unpleasant breath can also be caused by food like onions and garlic, and other food that has very strong flavor. The enzymes in saliva start digesting the food and this gets transferred to the lungs to give out an odor on your breath. You can always suck on a mint or reach for the gum to minimize this more temporary problem. I'd hate to give up garlic myself :-)

Health problems can quite often become a cause of unpleasant breath. Sinus infections or allergies lead to the production of phlegm, which has proteins that attract odor causing bacteria.

At times, saliva flow into the mouth can be reduced due to problems with the salivary glands. Quite often this problem comes up when a person is used to breathing through the mouth, which causes the saliva to constantly dry up. Saliva acts like a mouthwash, and when this natural process is interrupted bacteria proliferate, thus leading to breath odor.

Another health condition that does lead to breath problems is of course gum disease. Bacterial infection of the gums can cause evil breath that is persistent, and is an almost sure indicator that your visit to the dentist is long overdue. You may also need treatment for receding gums.

There are other habits that can make the problem worse, smoking being the most prominent of them. This is in a way, due to the drying of the saliva in the mouth, which leads to the same condition as caused by breathing through the mouth. But if you smoke, you know you need to quit sometime anyway, here's just one more reason to do it - not preaching, been there too :-)

Don't Neglect Your Dentist

Your 'friendly' local dentist is not there just to drill your teeth. They also look for all sorts of other problems, including signs of oral cancer for example (hugely curable if detected early). So don't neglect them, it makes them sad :-).

And of course, a dental hygienist visit may seem expensive, but they can definitely clean the places you can't reach. So that regular deep clean will help make your job easier day to day.


So can bad breath be cured? Not really. For most people breath problems are not something you can just 'cure' and it goes away forever. It's something you treat and manage. We all have breath odor, just some of us need to take more care to keep it under control.

So use the steps above, seek out the relevant professional advice, and good luck with the fight against bad breath.