When many people notice that their breath isn't as fresh as they'd like, they instinctively reach for a breath mint. This behavior is so common that you've almost certainly done it, too. While there's little denying that a breath mint can temporarily make your breath smell fresher, which is ideal if you're about to walk into a job interview or meet someone for a date, you should also know that there are some negative aspects about breath mints. If bad breath is a constant worry for you, you should raise this concern with your family dentist, who will assess the likely cause. Here are some reasons that breath mints are a bad choice.

They Don't Address The Cause

You may have bad breath for a number of reasons, but taking a breath mint doesn't address the cause — it merely hides the scent. This is akin to taking a pain pill for a slipped disc in your back. The pill may make you feel better, but it doesn't put the disc back in alignment. It's important to have a dentist discover why you have bad breath, rather than continue to mask the symptoms. For example, if you have gingivitis, which is a common reason for bad breath, it's better to address this issue directly.

They May Promote Cavities

Although there are certainly brands of breath mints that are artificially sweetened, you may be concerned to know that many varieties contain sugar. While sugar is poor for your overall health in an assortment of ways, it's also detrimental to the health of your teeth. A high-sugar diet increases your risk of cavities, while is also promotes the bacteria that can result in gingivitis. When you take a breath mint, the residue of this product remains on your tooth enamel and gums, potentially leading to future issues.

They Could Cause Damage

Sucking on a breath mint for several minutes is the best way to make it last, but if you're the impatient type or you don't want to have the mint in your mouth any longer, you might chew it. Some breath mints have a hard exterior, and chewing may potentially cause damage to your teeth. This may especially be true if you've had dental work. For example, it's possible to knock a dental veneer off a tooth when you chew something hard, and this could occur when you chew a breath mint.