image0174Morning breath. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that that unpleasant (some would say foul) smell is coming from your mouth. But it is. While you slept, bacteria were wide awake and working hard to digest microscopic food particles there.

The result is chemical compounds that have a strong odor. Halitosis is the proper name for this condition. And while you might think it’s just something we all have to live with, there are steps you can take to help you wake with less of it.

The Nose Knows?

Over time, you can become unaware of your morning breath. But, rest assured, those around you when you wake up are not. There are a few ways to check for morning breath, even if your nose initially fails you. First, look at your tongue in the mirror. If it’s pink and shiny, your breath is probably less smelly. If, on the other hand, it’s coated in a white film, you are probably putting out an offensive odor.

Another test you can perform in the morning, or anytime, is to lick your clean wrist and let the saliva dry. Then give it a sniff. If it has a pungent, sour smell, that’s your breath.

Beat Morning Breath

Here are five things you can do to help prevent morning breath.

Brush well

Of course the top tip for preventing morning breath is to brush and floss well at night, preferably just before you get into bed. Be sure to run your brush around your gums and over your tongue to help sweep away bacteria. You can even buy specially designed tongue scrapers to help remove bacteria.

Stay hydrated

Dry mouth is one of the biggest causes of bad breath in general and morning breath in particular. Saliva helps remove bacteria from your mouth, and being well hydrated ensures you can produce enough saliva. Drink a glass of water before you go to bed at night, though you’ll want to find the quantity that keeps your mouth fresh but doesn’t result in too many overnight bathroom trips. You can even keep a glass of water by your bed for taking small hydrating sips as needed.

Change your sleeping position.

If you sleep on your back, you probably spend much of the night mouth breathing, and that dries out your mouth and throat. Try sleeping on your side instead. You may naturally return to your back out of habit, but over time you can develop a new, healthier habit.
Refrain from eating smelly foods at night

Foods like onions and garlic that have strong odors are best eaten earlier in the day. When consumed in the evening, their scent can stick with you overnight. The same is true of smoking just before bed.

See your dentist regularly

Getting a professional dental cleaning every six months helps prevent the accumulation of plaque and tartar that can harbor bacteria. Your dentist can also address any issues with your gums, tongue, and mouth tissue before they become bigger problems.

Breathe Easy

Morning breath doesn’t have to be inevitable. The steps above can have your loved ones greeting you with a smile and a hug in the morning rather than running for cover!