Halloween kicks off a series of holidays celebrated with delicious treats, from yummy chocolate candies to gut-busting dinners to seasonal alcoholic beverages. While most parents will make sure their kids brush after eating their treats, National Dental Hygiene Month in October encourages a fuller approach to oral health.

 

“Teeth and gums are obviously key components of oral health care, but they’re just part of the whole environment inside one’s mouth,” says Dr. Bob Kross, a biochemist who’s been researching and developing oral health-care products since the 1980s.

 

“The nooks and crannies in our mouths and gums are not the only places crammed with organic debris, which feed the bacteria that create biofilm, such as plaque, to protect themselves from oxygen. There are also cracks on the tongue’s surface and in the other soft tissues in the mouth and pharynx where bacteria collect, further compromising dental health and creating bad breath.”

 

Normal oral bacteria are fine, actually even necessary, when present in proper balance with each other, but it’s a problem when putrefying and pathogenic bacteria start to take over, he says.

 

Kross offers this tip for preventing bad breath.

 

Control bad breath by controlling the mouth’s bacteria. Brush at least twice a day, floss, scrape the tongue and use a non-alcoholic rinse that has oxidizing properties. Individuals suffering from bad breath will experience optimum relief only by using alcohol-free, oxidizing oral hygiene products.

 

“At least 90 percent of bad breath problems are associated with the sulfurous compounds generated by the putrefying, malodor-forming, anaerobic bacteria, which hide in oral crevices, and which degrade food particles and salivary cell fragments,” Kross says. “For a cleaner mouth and fresher breath, you’ll need oxidants to destroy a major portion of the bacteria in these low-oxygen environments, thereby removing the root cause of persistent halitosis.