Preventing Bad Breath While Traveling

Now that so many are making up lost time after the pandemic to travel, if you have a history of bad breath you may be anxious about being so close to others. Dr. Cluff has some good advice about how to prevent and treat it, as needed.

Brushing and Cleaning Techniques

The first is to keep to a strict regimen before you go, brushing for two minutes after breakfast and dinner and flossing at the end of the day. Everyone can also benefit from using a tongue scraper before meals to remove the bacteria that accumulate naturally in the mouth and can cause bad breath, according to Bill Dorfman, author of Billion Dollar Smile. If you have periodontal (gum) disease, the bacteria involved are likely to give you bad breath, so that should be treated before you go. A periodontal mouthwash used after meals or before being close to others will also help

What to Carry When Traveling

When you travel, carry a small toothbrush, toothpaste, and 3 oz. of mouthwash to use whenever you have access to water (you can have a large bottle of mouthwash in your luggage to refill). You can carry an empty water bottle to fill when not going through airport checkpoints, since just swishing water in your mouth will remove food particles that may cause bad breath.

Drinking Water is Helpful

Drinking lots of water is also a key way to reduce the chances of smelly breath, since it alleviates a dry mouth, which  allows bacteria to flourish, which would normally be washed away by saliva. Saliva can be stimulated by chewing sugar-free gum (especially if it is sweetened with xylitol, a bacteria-fighting substance). Keep some and mints handy while traveling so you can pop them in your mouth as needed. Smoking anything in any way can dry the mouth, as can some medications.

Chronic bad breath can also be prevented by avoiding troublesome foods, which can cause smelly breath for days after you eat them as they slowly digest in the intestine, such as garlic, peppers, mayonnaise, pastrami, cheese, and seafood, according to WebMD: 

Drinks of any kind with sugar make it easier for oral bacteria to multiply, as can alcohol, so avoid them like you would anyone else with bad breath.

Finally, wear a mask if you are concerned, since everyone will assume you are just being careful about catching an infectious disease. 

If you suffer from chronic bad breath, make an appointment with Dr. Cluff for a full dental examination and discussion about what you can do to prevent it.