With more than an estimated 25 percent of Americans experiencing chronic bad breath on a regular basis, there have been many theories as to which is the best way to treat this growing problem. While many are okay with treating the occasional halitosis with chewing gum or a quick brush of the teeth, there is a large portion of those suffering from this aggravating condition that need something stronger.

Mouthwash Is the Key

Getting that fresh breath that you crave starts with knowing the origin of halitosis. Chronic bad breath generally comes from bacteria that forms in the mouth from the foods we eat and the habits we form. This bacteria can emit a sulfur-life compound that gives halitosis that distinct, unpleasant smell. In addition to its foul odor, the microbes have a tendency to harbor deep in the pockets of your mouth, such as in between your teeth, in the small crevices of your tongue and underneath swollen gums. Brushing your teeth morning and night is a great place to start when looking to cure your halitosis, but your treatment must go further than that as it only effectively cleans about 25 percent of your mouth.

Mouthwash is essential to bad breath treatment because it is able to reach further into the little gaps, cracks and fissures that your brush bristles can’t. With the right kind of mouthwash, you are able to not only rinse away those microbes and the food particles that feed their growth, but also keep them from forming again when you use a wash that contains the appropriate ingredients.

Antibacterial or Bust

Finding the right type of mouthwash for you starts with its primary ingredients. When you’re looking to kick that chronic bad breath, an antibacterial rinse is the only one you need. Some of the best on the market include both cetylpyridinium and chlorhexidine, which help to break down sulfuric compounds. When used on a regular basis, they keep those small areas clean and prevent the further formation of harmful and odor-causing bacteria. Other ingredients to watch for include zinc and chlorine oxide, which neutralize those stinky smells and give you the relief of fresh breath.

Alcohol in Your Rinse: Yay or Nay?

The belief that having alcohol in your mouthwash means it’s more effective is being proved more and more to be a myth. When you use a rinse that contains a high concentration of alcohol, it can remove some bacteria, but in turn leaves you with a dry mouth that is the perfect environment for more to grow in its place. With the rise of alcohol-free mouthwash, it has been shown that these rinses have the same cleansing and freshness power as traditional ones without the burn.

If you’ve found yourself covering your mouth while talking to someone in close proximity or have ever felt embarrassed about your chronic bad breath, it’s time to take control of halitosis. With your regular dental visits, flossing and brushing not cutting it, it’s time to give a great antibacterial mouthwash a try. Rinse away your troubles and get the fresh breath you deserve today.