Bad breath home remedy – Try flossing at home

Bad breath home remedy - Try flossing at home

Written by Dr Amrita Jain

Medically reviewed by  Dr. Vidhi Bhanushali Kabade BDS, TCC

Last updated May 7, 2024

Written by Dr Amrita Jain

Medically reviewed by  Dr. Vidhi Bhanushali Kabade BDS, TCC

Last updated May 7, 2024

Bad breath is a major concern for so many people. And why would’t it be? It can be embarrassing and even a turnoff for some. Some embarrassing moments make you feel you need to do something about your breath, don’t you? And if you suffer from serious halitosis, you’ve tried almost all bad breath remedies and various types of mouth sprays to mouthwashes and mint strips to chewing gums. We know you tried it all, and it just wouldn’t go away. You may have come across some people who don’t suffer from bad breath at all. What are they doing to keep bad breath away?

Well, there’s actually one simple thing that can help: flossing! Flossing daily not only keeps your cavities at bay but also bad breath away. Flossing is a very underestimated habit, but only if you did it, it could help you reduce bad breath by more than 50%. Let’s find out how

Why does your mouth smell bad?

It’s a question that many people ask themselves, why does my mouth stink?

Well it can be a real problem when you’re out in public or trying to make new friends. If you’re finding the answer to— why your mouth smell bad you need to pay attention to your oral hygiene.

The short answer: because you’re not doing what you should be doing to keep it clean.

The long answer: even if you brush twice a day, there are still some things that might be getting in the way of keeping your mouth smelling fresh. So brushing alone does not suffice. That would be insufficient plaque and bacteria removal from the spaces between your teeth. The food that gets trapped between the teeth is one of the main reasons for chronic bad breath.

Ofcourse, other reason for mouth smell is —Failing to clean your tongue forms a white coating on your tongue that traps in all the bacteria and food that a foul smell over a period of time.

What’s happening between your teeth?

What's happening between your teeth?

Brushing your teeth is an important part of keeping your mouth and breath healthy, but it’s not the only thing you can do. Studies prove that brushing alone only cleans 60 percent of your teeth. The remaining 40 percent of the plaque that is left behind does contribute to bad breath. If you only brush your teeth that is not enough, bristles of the toothbrush do not reach the spaces between your teeth.

Just like sometimes you cannot clean your home furniture with simple tools and needs smaller tools to clean the small areas similarly you need different tools to clean the areas between your teeth where most amount of plaque is left behind.

There are some ways people manage to mask their bad breath for example chewing gums, using mouthwashes, and mouth sprays but these are just temporary ways to mask your bad breath. So what should you do to permanently cure bad breath? To understand this we need to know what’s happening between our teeth and what the root cause of bad breath is?

What’s happening between your teeth?

Brush bristles do not reach intricate areas between your teeth no whether you use the right brushing technique or not. These inter-dental spaces are the areas where most food, plaque, and debris gets accumulated. This debris are not easily flushed away even if you drink plenty of water or even brush your teeth for that matter.

They remain locked between the two teeth. The Bacteria trapped between the teeth cause the fermentation of the food. The food then begins to rot and decay.

Food begins to rot

food begins to rot if you don't floss properly

Your teeth are home to a whole lot of bacteria, and that’s not a good thing! The bacteria in your mouth help protect you from harmful bugs by fighting off infections and cleaning up after meals. But when there’s too much food stuck between your teeth, it can make it hard for them to do their job.

Here’s why: Food begins to rot

The first step is that food begins to decay and rot. This means that there are millions of bacteria in your mouth and on the surface of your teeth. They feed on leftover food particles in between your teeth and break them down into smaller pieces. As this process happens, these microbes release gasesand those gases cause bad breath!

Bacteria release gases

Bad breath is caused by odor-producing bacteria that grow in the mouth. These bacteria include those that cause gum diseases eg. include Prevotella (Bacteroides) melanogenic, Treponema denticola, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Porphyromonas endodontalis, Prevotella intermedia, Bacteroides loescheii, Enterobacteriaceae, Tannerella forsythensis. When you don’t brush and floss regularly, bacteria accumulate on the bits of food left in your mouth and between your teeth. The sulfur compounds released by these bacteria make your bad breath smell in a way it can be intolerable to people around you.

When your breath smells bad it can smell like rotten eggs, fussy odor, sour smell, it may also smell like sweat or like garbage it may also smell like feces or urine at times. People who also suffer from severe gum diseases like periodontitis can have an unbearable foul smell and a bloody smell. This can be really embarrassing at times. This also makes people judge your hygiene practices!

Gases cause bad breath

Since these bacterias are not visible to the naked eye and often get hidden between your teeth, often people wonder what’s the real reason for their bad breath? Gases released by the microorganisms are key reason causing bad breath. Hence keeping the areas between your teeth clean is very important. And since brush bristles cannot reach these areas, flossing is very important. Using mouthwashes, chewing gums, mouth sprays, mint tablets, and breath strips are just temporary ways to just mask your bad breath. But this does not cure bad breath. These do not eliminate the source.. But studies prove flossing your teeth can help you reduce bad breath.

How flossing your teeth can help you?

flossing your teeth can help you

By now we know how food trapped between your teeth can cause bad breath. Thus getting rid of the debris between your teeth is very important. Maintaining oral hygiene is of utmost importance to prevent bad breath. For this, you need a permanent solution. If you wish to permanently cure your bad breath, getting your oral hygiene in control is very important.

Flossing is one way you can reduce your bad breath and with a regular habit, you could permanently get rid of it once and for all. Flossing can help improve your overall oral health, as well as reduce or eliminate bad breath.

Flossing your teeth can

  • Removing the food that is locked between your teeth is very important
  • Clean the remaining 40% of the teeth and makes it plaque-free
  • Food remnants left behind get flushed out
  • Rotting of food does not occur
  • Sulphur compounds and other gases are not released
  • This helps avoid bad breath.

The bottom line

If you have tried all home remedies for bad breath but still can’t get rid of it— It’s time you try flossing your teeth daily at home. Flossing your teeth at night flushes out the root cause of bad breath and saves you from embarrassing moments.


  • Bad breath is a major concern for many and quite embarrassing for some.
  • If you have tried all home remedies and still you can’t get rid of your bad breath, flossing can help.
  • Flossing removes the locked and trapped food particles between your teeth and prevents the rotting of food inside your mouth which helps keeps your mouth fresh.
  • Flossing your teeth can also help you avoid hidden cavities between your teeth.
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Author Bio: Dr. Amrita Jain is a practicing dental surgeon since 4 years. She completed her B.D.S in 2016 and was has been a rank holder throughout her course. She suggests “Holistic dentistry is the best dentistry”. Her treatment line follows a conservative pattern which means saving a tooth is of utmost priority and preventing your teeth from getting decayed rather than curing it with a root canal treatment. She inculcates the same while consulting her patients. Apart from her interest in clinical practice, she has developed interest in research and writing over a period of time. She states “It is my clinical experience that motivates me to write and spread dental awareness”. Her articles are well researched with a combination of technical knowledge and clinical experience.

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