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Let’s get straight to it: Bad breath stinks. And while you could just inhale Altoids before every important life event, Elisa Mello, a dentist at NYC Smile Design, shares her best tips for keeping things minty fresh in the long term. 

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tooth brush
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Check your dental habits
You already know that you should be brushing at least twice a day for no less than two minutes each time, right? At a bare minimum, “it is critical to brush before going to sleep because that is when we have reduced salivary flow,” says Dr. Mello. Without the extra moisture in your mouth, bacteria accumulate on your tongue, gums and cheeks, where they will produce a bad smell” (aka morning breath).

Swap out your products
"Avoid anything that will further dry out your mouth like rinses or washes that have alcohol in them or toothpastes with sodium laurel sulfate,” advises Dr. Mello. Both ingredients can dry up the mucous membraneand dryness, as we’ve established, is the nemesis. 

dentist
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Replace your toothbrush
Another unexpected culprit of bad 
breath? Your toothbrush. According to Dr. Mello, you should be switching it out every two to three months and definitely after any illnesses (like a cold or flu)

See your dentist
If you have persistently bad 
breath, go see your dentist, who can help determine where it’s coming from. Bad breath can be an indicator of other health issues like respiratory tract infections, chronic sinus infections, postnasal drip, diabetes or liver and kidney problems. 

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