How to get rid of bacteria in your mouth

Written by charmiane wilson
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How to get rid of bacteria in your mouth
Smile with confidence with a clean mouth. (BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Excessive levels of bacteria in your mouth can be unhealthy. A common cause of mouth bacteria are food particles on the teeth, gums or tongue. Unchecked, this bacteria can result in embarrassing bad breath. Regular dental visits are the best way to maintain mouth health, but there are also simple, inexpensive steps you can take on your own to have a healthier mouth.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Dental floss
  • Mouthwash or hydrogen peroxide
  • Gum containing xylitol

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  1. 1

    Remove bacteria-causing food particles by brushing at least twice a day. While brushing, also clean your tongue and gums where food can also collect and rot. Check your toothpaste label to be sure that it is approved by the American Dental Association.

  2. 2

    Floss your teeth. Flossing catches and removes food particles that were missed while brushing. Flossing focuses on the hard-to-reach surfaces between your teeth that toothbrushes can't always reach.

  3. 3

    Use hydrogen peroxide as an antibacterial mouth gargle. Use this product as you would an over-the-counter mouthwash, that is, sip it, swish it around and then spit the hydrogen peroxide out. According to WebMD's Mike McIlwain, MD, oxygen contained in hydrogen peroxide kills bacteria in the mouth.

  4. 4

    Chew gum that contains xylitol. According to WebMD's Sara Albert, MD, this sugar substitute causes your mouth to salivate more and also stops bacteria from multiplying in your mouth.

  5. 5

    Drink more water. Drinking water reduces the amount of bacteria in your mouth.

Tips and warnings

  • Products with the ADA seal of approval have met the organisation's requirements for safety and effectiveness. This seal of approval is available on some toothpastes, flosses, toothbrushes, mouth rinses and other oral hygiene products.

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