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Promove Slings – Peace of Mind while Travelling

Promove Slings – Peace of Mind while Wheelchair Travelling

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Promove Slings don’t need a hoist! They have handles so that you can be lifted by a couple of willing people. The perfect solution for wheelchair users in many different environments to ensure a safe and easy transfer, especially when travelling. The product is the brainchild of Dr Huw Thomas, a wheelchair user who got tired of being manhandled when travelling by aeroplane and he developed the Promove Sling as the answer. Huw has since won the Sir Stelios Disabled Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2011 which has helped Huw reach more people with his liberating invention.

Dr Huw pictured winning the Disabled Entrepreneur of the year award with Stelios and joint winner Rob from ActiveHands.

Dr Huw pictured winning the Disabled Entrepreneur of the year award with Stelios and joint winner Rob from ActiveHands.

Why use a hoist and sling?

As any wheelchair user knows, an awkward lift by untrained people can cause pulled muscles and aches and pains for weeks. In the worst cases, a fall from your chair and even broken bones. Transferring with a sling is much safer and comfortable for everybody. The difficulty comes when the hoist is broken, has run out of charge or you are somewhere where they simply don’t have one. Most people have experienced hospital appointments, holidays or travel abroad where they have wished that a hoist was available. Portable hoists are becoming smaller, but they are still bulky and heavy. The Promove sling is a portable and affordable option.

Carry a Manual Sling with you

Promove Slings provide a back up plan and an option when you are away from home. They can be carried at all times to ensure, even if an emergency occurs, a safe and easy transfer.  These specially designed manual slings have been on the market for five years but have recently been made available through Amazon making them even more accessible to more wheelchair users across the UK and Europe. Designed to ensure dignity is maintained, the more people who can access Promove Slings the better.

Promove Sling Video

 

Where’s the Need?

Promove Sling in Action

Promove Sling in Action

Promove Slings are a much needed product due to the fact that the only way to move a disabled person where a hoist isn’t present is by picking them up under the arms and trying to move them as carefully as possible. This of course can be extremely embarrassing for the individual and there is the risk of injury, especially if the individual lifting has no training or experience as is often the case. If the wheelchair user or even the facility being used has a Promove Sling available then the transfer from the wheelchair can be carried out safely without embarrassment for any part involved.

Product Range

Promove has a range of different slings for different people to ensure all age groups are covered and transferring with a sling is possible for all individuals who need support.

Adult Slings

Adult Promove Sling

Adult Promove Sling

Promove offer two separate adult slings. Each sling is designed so the wheelchair user can be transferred with the support of 2-4 handles lifting them safely. The Standard Adult Manual Handling Sling is a simply designed sling which is highly portable and is designed to simply be placed under the seated individual ready for transfer. The sling provides support for the whole body including shoulders and legs and padded handles also provide extra comfort for the handlers. The adult sling is designed to hold people up to 45 stone and the second adult sling has an additional head support.

Children’s Slings

Child Size 1 Promove Sling

Child Size 1 Promove Sling

Promove also have a range of emergency slings for children. Keeping children comfortable and calm whilst being transferred can be essential in avoiding real upset and therefore a Promove sling should be used wherever possible. Promove has two sizes of slings for children. The child 1 size sling is suitable for children aged from 3 up to 10 years old and the the child size 2 sling is suitable for children aged from 8 to 14. There are also children’s slings with head support available. The feature are the same as the adult model with comfortable space to sit as well as reinforced handles for the comfort of the handler.

All Promove slings are 100% British designs and are extremely lightweight and machine-washable and provide a safe and comfortable means of transport to and from a wheelchair where a hoist isn’t available. There are many different environments and sectors where Promove slings are invaluable.

Benefits of Promove Slings

There are many benefits to Promove Slings over being lifted manually. The key ones include:

  • Being transferred without being uncomfortably manhandled
  • Friends and family can move you without risk of injury
  • Assurance that you can be evacuated safely in an emergency
  • Easy to carry in its own carry bag or stored in your rucksack
  • Multiple sizes mean they are accessible to all who need them
  • They provide an intermediate step for children getting used to hoisting

Who is using Promove Slings?

Individuals

Promove Slings are a lifetime investment and affordable and can be bought by individuals who want the peace of mind of knowing they’ve always get access to a means of evacuation and transfer if necessary. It means friends and family can move wheelchair users without risk of injury. Even if your carer is usually able to lift you or you are able to transfer yourself, they are a great standby for peace of mind.

Emergency Services

Fire and Rescue and the Ambulance service use Promove Slings for lifting disabled people in challenging environments. They can also be used where people have been injured and need to be moved. Promove can be quickly placed below an individual who is confined with minimal displacement (avoiding further skeletal damage if it has taken place). Promove Slings provide an efficient and safe solution in emergency situations.

Education

Schools and colleges can provide more for their disabled pupils by using Promove slings to transfer them to and from their wheelchairs. They can be used to wheelchair users can get involved in more activities as well as in emergency situations. It’s the perfect solution in schools where installing a tracking hoist isn’t possible.

Airports

As was the creator’s initial problem airport transfers when travelling can be extremely stressful. UK Airport service providers use Promove Slings to move passengers from their wheelchair into an aisle chair and then on into their aircraft seat. This safe and easy process removes the undignified lifting which may previously have occurred. Promove Slings comply with airline Health and Safety requirements and minimise the risk of travellers claiming against the airline or airport. We wish that all airline had them but sadly in our exprerience it is better to have your own!

Children might also benefit from a flight chair, for more tips for flying with a disabled child visit here http://sensoryplaytray.com/flying-disabled-child/

Care Sector

With all the worries and concerns surrounding the healthcare and caring industries at the moment – doing things properly according to guidelines really matters. Corporate and private carers of people in specialised homes for the older or disabled people should use Promove slings for all manual-handling of service users where independent movement isn’t possible and a hoist is unavailable. Hoists can breakdown or be allowed to run out of battery charge. It makes sense for every organisation to have a sling for these occasions.

Take back the control and reduce the worry of travel

Promove slings can really make a difference to the lives of wheelchair users especially when travelling. The scope to fly and travel without worrying about transferring to and from your wheelchair is extremely liberating and Promove Slings make this possible.

We (Duncan and Clare Edwards) have had a promove sling for two years and always take it with us on holidays and overnight stays. It has been a great standby and has been a godsend on several occasions.

For prices click here

If you have used a manual sling or have ever had problems with a broken hoist or an airline lift or anything related to this post, please leave a comment below

Tips for Living in Bed

Tips for managing your life in bed

 

Danni in bed using a laptop on her trabasack

Dannilion, one of our top fave bloggers: http://dannilion.com/

One of our loyal Trabasaxons has recently written a post giving fantastic hints and tips for people who have to spend a lot of time in bed. Danni wrote the post Perfecting Bed Life earlier this month and this post is inspired by her wonderful work with a few added tips of our own.

Living with M.E. has meant Danni, in her own words, has ‘spent nearly every moment’ in bed for the past few months. Despite this she’s adapted and her post on how to make the best of managing your life from bed is extremely inspiring and we couldn’t help but highlight and share some of her top tips. Danni highlights a wide range of valuable products and ideas which can make living from bed a little easier.

Essential Gadgets for Long Term Stays in Bed

trabasack bed tray holding an ipad with a media mount

Trabasack and Multimedia Mount ideal for use in bed

Getting used to an adapting to living from bed is difficult but here are a few tips that could be considered essential to your new routine and lifestyle.

Danni recommends investing in an over-bed table to make accessing things you need regularly easier. It’s also helpful for watching and using multimedia devices up close. An over-bed table falls short when sitting up becomes an issue and Danni suggests using your Trabasack in this case and a Trabasack is also an affordable alternative if you’re not sure about the space for an over-bed table in your home.

Danni also recommends another of our favourite products – the Hydrant, for drinking from bed as it stops the risk of any spills and they can be bought in large sizes. Replacement ends are needed when the device has been used regularly for a number of months. Hydrants are now used by the NHS to help ensure patients are kept hydrated in hospitals.

We also like the handsteady drinking cup that allows you tilt the cup right back using the rotating handle.

Infographic showing a hand holding the handSteady cup with information about how it works.

The handSteady drinking aid stays upright, is easy to tilt and always keeps steady. Click this image for more info.

Another simple yet essential tip from Danni is her suggestion that you should have as much stuff as you possibly can within reach. It’s not always possible or appropriate to call someone to get stuff for you and maintains a degree of independence. This could mean having shelves installed near your bed or putting key items on the bed next to you where there’s space. Bedside tables are ideal for storing snacks and medication.

Another alternative that we featured in a previous blog is a Telestik grabber or Handi reacher to extend your reach and access things that have dropped to the floor.

From a personal perspective it makes sense to keep the room as nice as you possibly can. Danni highlights that some people need rooms to be non-stimulating but others can benefit from nice pictures or being able to see out of the window.

Exercise and Pressure Sores in Bed

Another essential key point is to remember to keep moving as much as you can. It is very easy to slip into the habit of staying still once you’re living from bed but as Danni warns, bed sores are a genuine risk. If you can move yourself it’s best to try to do so as much as you can, whether it’s wriggling, rolling or whatever is best for your circumstances. If you’re unable to do this then it’s essential you have help to move position every two hours or so. Some people use sliding sheets or towels to help them roll and move in bed with the help of another person.

Bed sores or to use their technical name pressure sores develop when a large amount of pressure is applied to an area of skin over a short period of time. They can become extremely painful and hard to manage and therefore keeping active from bed, in any way you can, really is essential. As Danni also mentions, a low cost idea is using a sheepskin can help with making the bed softer. If you do not move much and are spending long periods in bed it would be good to also ask your occupational therapist about a special mattress or even an inflating one.

Keeping in Touch

Our final essential point is to ensure you have an effective way of contacting your carers. This could be via a telephone, computer or if you live alone a panic button or cord. Wireless doorbells are another way of connecting with someone who may be in another room when you need support.

Comfort

Microwaveable Penguin Plush


Here we’re once again taking inspiration for Danni and covering some of the ways to make your long-term stay in bed as comfortable as possible.

Comfort is one of your top priorities and as Danni says ‘most clothes are not comfortable for lying in’ and there are clothes which are better. It’s understandable you may not always want to wear pyjamas and t-shirts and leggings make a good combo. Danni also makes the great point of saying a cardigan or zip-up hoodie is a better option than a jumper as it’s easier to take on and off.

Cushions and pillows are also great for comfort and u-shaped body pillows, often marketed as maternity products, can be a great option. They can be very supportive and can help you sit up if you find it difficult. The types of cushion and pillow which suit you will be very personal and you may want to try out different types.

Danni also highlights her trademark microwaveable penguins as great for keeping warm if you have difficulty moderating your body temperature. They can also ease chronic pain and aches of different kinds and if you don’t fancy a penguin there are plenty of microwaveable body wraps and other animal characters too.

Personal Care

Inflatable Basin

Your personal care is a very private and personal affair but there may be elements you need help and support with, especially if you’re unable to get to the bathroom.

Bed baths are great but as Danni says if it’s not always practical then bath in bed wipes are a good alternative. They’re large and designed for getting fully washed in bed – they also avoid the need to be dried afterwards.

Hair can be another issue, Danni went for the chop to make managing easier but there are options for keeping your hair clean. Dry shampoo works for a few days but isn’t a long-term solution.

No rinse shampoos
exist too to avoid excess grease or you can buy a shampoo cap. An inflatable basin is the best option for proper hair washing, along with lots of towels to ensure you don’t soak your bed right through. A waterproof mattress protector is a complete essential and guarantees your mattress doesn’t need replacing regularly.

Toileting in Bed

uriwell

There are various toilet aids that can help in bed

Toileting is another personal care issue you’ll need to handle and as Danni says for most people it’ll mean using a bedpan or incontinence pads. It’s not the most pleasant of issues but it is something you have to deal with. If you can manage a commode then this is a good option and there are personal toilets such as the Uriwell range which can be useful. There are a range of different bedpans on the market and as with the pillows it’s worth finding out which is best to suit your needs.

Entertainments and Extras

Keeping entertained and motivated is one of the main concerns if you’re living from bed. Mental stimulation may not always be something you need dependent on your illness but keeping entertained is key to avoiding further problems such as depression.

Comfortable SleepPhones


Danni highlights a laptop, tablet or internet connected phone as a hugely valuable resource as it gives you access to social networks, games and you can stream television and films. What works best for you will depend on the level of fine motor skills you have maintained and if you need further support your Trabasack and Media Mount combined can keep your tablet or smartphone perfectly in position.

A tablet is a great idea. You can watch films, talk to friends via social media and email and listen to music using something lightweight like a kindle fire.  if you like to read as you can access the Kindle app and read to your heart’s content when you’re well enough. If you are reading a traditional book there is the Page Keeper that can help keep track and hold your page open. Danni also recommends the uniquely designed SleepPhones as they’re designed to be worn in bed so extra comfortable.

Additional extra can include everything from an eye mask to make sleep even more restful to fans to keep you cool in summer, which can be no mean feat when living from bed. Other gadgets you could consider include remote controlled lights and electric switches and this makes another job which you may have relied on others for something you can do yourself.

The Most Important Point of All

Taking Danni’s word once more:

Try to remain positive. Living in bed is not the end of the world. It may not be what you choose but it doesn’t have to be completely negative. I find joy in many things while being in bed, and though I do want to get out and back into my wheelchair, it hasn’t been all bad. Bringing my computer in here so I could use it in bed was one of the best decisions we made.

Your Tips for Making the Best of Long Term Stays in Bed

Please share any tips or gadgets that you find useful or any comments that you would like to share below.

Bad Breath Causes and Cures

A photographic image of a man cupping his hand over his mouth to smell if his breath is bad

How do you really know if you have bad breath?

Bad breath can be an embarrassing issue to tackle. Most of us will feel as though we’ve had a bad breath day at some point in our lives. Usually this is fixed by a quick brushing of teeth or swill of mouth wash. However for some dealing with bad breath, or halitosis, can be a socially devastating experience.

 

Bad Breath or ‘Halitosis’ and its Causes

Problems with bad breath do not always start in the mouth. Although oral health is the most likely cause of bad breath, it can also depend on other issues.

Low Carb Diet Bad Breath

What we eat and drink has a huge effect on our breath. Eating foods with a strong flavour, such as garlic and spices can cause temporary bad breath. However many will find that simply cutting down on these ingredients will solve the problem quickly.

Dieting, especially low-carbohydrate based diets, can also cause bad breath. This is because as the body starts to break down fat at a fast rate, chemicals called ketones are produced. These ketones escape through urine and unfortunately, your breath. Ketone-based bad breath has a distinct odour. If you are on a low-carb diet and suffer from bad breath, it is more than likely that ketosis is to blame.

Bad breath is an unfortunate side-effect of dieting. However when the body is producing ketones, it is proof that you are actually burning fat. Products such as Ketostix can show if you are producing ketones. They are dip-sticks for testing levels of ketones in your urine. These will help you find out if your bad breath is ketosis, whilst also providing proof that you are loosing weight via fat loss.

Cigarette Bad Breath

Image showing a set of teeth. The first half of the teeth are healthy without plaque, the second half show receeding gums and plaque build up that causes bad breath.

A build up of dental plaque will cause gum disease, which causes halitosis.

Bad breath is obviously the least important health issue caused by smoking. However, as well as the damage to your lungs, smoking can cause gum disease. Gums can become irritated by smoke, causing further complications such as gum disease. Gum disease, also known as gingivitis, makes gums swollen, infected and painful.
It is mostly noticed when there is blood whilst brushing your teeth. The gum tissue is very sensitive to cigarette smoke, and is eroded over time. This is mostly caused by the extra bacteria in the mouth due to smoking. This bacteria cause plaque, which will deteriorate the gums and then cause bad breath.

The most sensible cure for bad breath due to smoking is obviously to stop smoking. However keeping up to date with dental appointments and maintaining good oral health will help stop cigarette bad breath.

The NHS provides a “Quit kit” to will help you to stop smoking.

Medicines That Cause Bad Breath

There are a number of medicines that cause bad breath. If these drugs are vital to your health, bad breath is an unfortunate yet unavoidable side effect. However if you are deeply concerned about your bad breath, talking to your GP may help. They maybe able to offer you an alternative medicine to avoid getting bad breath.

Post Nasal Drip Bad Breath

Post nasal drip is also known as upper airway cough syndrome. It is caused by an excess production of mucous in the nose. This mucous then gathers in the throat causing bad breath. Post nasal drip can be a side-effect of further health issues, such as sinusitis or swallowing disorders.

Bad Breath in Babies and Children

Children can occasionally fall foul of bad breath, too. As stated by Dr Lewis First in this article for NBC 5 News, the main cause of halitosis in children is tooth decay. Many children dislike having to brush their teeth and see it as a chore. This is why it is important to try and make cleaning their teeth a fun experience.

Children cleaning teeth

Make cleaning teeth fun! Photo Credit: Stuart Berry http://www.flickr.com/photos/stuartberry/

There are a range of toothbrushes available to encourage your child to brush. Finding a fun toothbrush for your child will help them take an interest in brushing. Character brushes based on cartoons and toys are a firm winner with most children. Also you will find many of these character brushes include built-in flashing lights. These Barbie and Spiderman toothbrushes light up once activated, not only to entertain, but to also act as a timer. They will flash continuously for 1-2 minutes, ensuring your child has brushed for the right amount of time.

Studies have also found that “mouth breathing” can also contribute towards halitosis in young children. Mouth breathing often takes place when a child is ill with a cold. Their noses become blocked and stuffy, leaving no option other than to breathe mainly through the mouth. The intake of air through the mouth then dries out saliva, leaving bacteria to fester. This is usually a short term problem that is solved once the child no longer has a cold. However taking extra time for brushing during this time can help lessen bad breath.

 

 

Bad Breath and Disease Symptoms

As mentioned previously, bad breath can sometimes be a symptom of an underlying health condition. Below we cover some of the more common illnesses and conditions that can include bad breath as a symptom.

Halitosis

Halitosis is simply the umbrella term for of all disorders that cause bad breath. This covers everything from morning breath to oral hygiene issues. Morning breath happens for the opposite reason that children suffer bad breath due to mouth breathing. At night the mouth is exposed to less oxygen than during the day time. This lack of oxygen circulating around the mouth again allows the bacteria to breed. This is why ensuring you clean your mouth, teeth and gums properly before bed is so important for oral health.

Gum Disease

Gum disease, also known as gingivitis is the most common form of dental disease. It is caused by a build-up of plaque that then allows bacteria to grow in the mouth. This bacteria then starts to effect the gums and can lead to periodontitis. The most common symptoms of gingivitis are:

  • bleeding gums, especially when brushing
  • swelling of the gums
  • inflammation
  • changes in the colour of the gums, most notably a dark red colour

It is important to spot and treat gingivitis before it leads to periodontitis. Once periodontitis sets in it can destroy the gums when bacteria travels under the tooth. Teeth can then become loose as the gums become more infected. Eventually this will lead to loss of teeth permanently.
Bad breath caused by gingivitis is easily remedied by keeping on top of oral hygiene. Making visits to your dentist for check-ups and maintaining a good brushing routine.

Kidney Disease

The kidneys are vital organs that help to cleanse the blood and keep your body chemicals balanced. Waste and toxins that are taken into the body through food, air and drink eventually end up in your blood. It is the job of the kidneys to filter the blood of these toxins and then convert them to urine. People with kidney disease will often complain of bad breath. This is because when the kidneys are not functioning properly, they fail to remove toxins from the body. One of these toxins is ammonia, which is found in urine. This build-up of toxins within the body then escapes through the digestive system to the mouth, causing a ‘fishy odour’ in the breath.

Diagram shows an illustration of a liver and how sugars dealt with in patients with type 1 diabetes.

Bad breath occurs for people with type 1 diabetes due to excess ketones caused by lack of insulin.

Diabetes

Bad breath caused by diabetes is related to ketosis, as mentioned in our low carb diet section. However as ketosis is a temporary side-effect of low-carb dieting, diabetic ketoacidosis can be life-threating.
Generally found in people with type 1 diabetes, ketoacidosis is caused by a lack of insulin to convert blood sugars to energy. Instead the body will start metabolising fat stores rather than converting sugars from food. This rapid burning of fat causes an influx of ketones; a byproduct of fat breakdown. The body will then become overwhelmed with ketones which are highly acidic, and change the PH of the blood.
The presence of these ketones within the digestive system then cause bad breath as they escape the body via urine or the mouth. This in turn causes the breath to smell unpleasant. Some people describe this as like the smell of the sweets called ‘pear drops’.

Dogs detecting diabetes in the breath

Specially trained dogs can detect the smell of ketones and are being used to help warn people with diabetes. So called ‘Hypo dogs‘, can alert people before they notice the symptoms themselves and can be especially helpful for small children or people whose glucose levels drop very quickly.

Sinus infection

Sinus infection, also known as sinusitis, is an inflammation of the lining of the sinuses. This is usually caused by a bacterial infection. The sinuses are located in several areas in the head. However it is the sinuses in the nose that cause bad breath when infected. Very similar to post nasal drip, the excess mucus produced can build up and allow bacteria to grow. This influx in bacteria produces a bad odour, that is noted as bad breath.

Constipation

When your body fails to pass solid waste on a regular basis this is called constipation. This then slows down the digestive process of food. Undigested food will then remain in the bowls where it becomes toxic and emits gas. This gas will eventually travel back up the digestive system and into the mouth, causing bad breath.
Keeping yourself regular and avoiding constipation is key to preventing bad breath. Statistics show that unto 25% of bad breath cases are caused by constipation. A diet of high fibre, fruit, veg and at least 4-6 glasses of water a day can prevent constipation. However it is also important to remain physically fit if this is possible. Maintaining a healthy weight and exercising the middle of the body will keep bowl muscles toned. This in turn will make passing solid waste easier and more regular, avoiding bad breath.

For people who find it hard to eat enough natural fibre, a useful alternative is fybogel drinks or psyllium husks added to food.

Bad Breath Remedies

Image of a man brushing his teeth whilst looking at a clock behind him.

Brushing teeth for at least 2 minutes helps ensure plaque removal.

Sometimes it can be difficult to find a bad breath cure. Knowing the cause is your first step before trying to cure it. Disorders such as post nasal drip can often be cured using antibiotics or nasal steroids. However if your bad breath is due to oral hygiene rather than an underlying health condition it might be less simple to cure.

Treating and preventing bad breath should start with your daily brushing routine:

  • Always ensure you spend at least 2 minutes brushing with a quality toothpaste. Pastes such as Weleda’s Salt Toothpaste include natural ingredients that not only freshen but help neutralise plaque acids.
  • Ensure you floss between your teeth every time you brush, to further prevent plaque and tartar build-up. Plaque is the number one cause of gum disease and then bad breath.
  • It will help to brush your tongue as well as your teeth. Using a soft bristle brush for a longer brushing time is advised. The softer brushes cause less damage to gums and the tongue.
  • Use a mouth wash several times a day. It can help to carry a small bottle of mouth wash around with you for between snacks and meals. Brushing your teeth whilst at work or out and about can be difficult. However a quick swill of quality mouth wash between meals will help to dislodge particles of food until you can brush again.
  • Avoid brushing teeth for around 30 minutes after drinking fruit juice. Due to the acid in the juice, brushing straight away can cause further erosion of the teeth.

 

Once you have a solid oral hygiene routine in place, it is advised that you continue to avoid spicy foods, alcohol intake, smoking and coffee drinking. If after 2 weeks you are still suffering from bad breath, it may be time to consult your GP and dentist. They can rule out any underlying health issues that could be the cause of your bad breath.

 

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Bad Breath

Although bad breath is a very serious concern for the sufferer, it is not rare for the bad smell to be a psychological issue. Some can become convinced that they suffer bad breath when they actually don’t. In his recent interview with BBC Radio 4, Dr Tim Hodgson says up to 80% of self-referring halitosis patients don’t really have bad breath.
This paranoia of having bad breath is called halitophobia. People can become obsessed with oral hygiene and avoid social situations due to embarrassment of their bad breath. If a dental professional or GP feels halitosis is not present, the patient will be referred for cognitive behavioural therapy.

Diagram showing the cognitive behavioural therapy links between thoughts, feeling, action and behaviour

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy helps a patient with anxieties to understand the link between how they think, feel and act.

Cognitive behavioural therapy is usually referred to by the initials CBT. CBT is a therapy that involves discussing problems with a professional to find the root of your problems. CBT helps you to examine your emotions, actions and thoughts to understand how they are all interlinked.

Often those that are referred for CBT have at some time in the past suffered from bad breath. However this is usually no longer a problem yet they still think in the same way as they did during that time. Patients create a perception of themselves based on situations that occurred during the previous period of bad breath. This builds an anxiety that makes them concentrate on potential problems related to bad breath.
This is where cognitive behavioural therapy comes in. CBT sessions help the patient to see that their negative actions or negative reactions of those around them are actually caused by their own negative thoughts. This in turn helps the patient to filter all social and emotional information relating to bad breath equally. Rather than concentrating on only the negative they can see and feel, CBT helps them to interpret their apparent bad breath issue in a clearer light.

Products That May Help with Bad Breath

We have compiled a selection of over-the-counter products that are available to treat bad breath. If you have any recommendations or any experience with these products, please comment below.

Some of our top picks are:
TetroBreath Oral Hygiene Kit

This all inclusive oral hygiene kit has garnered fantastic reviews. It includes an oral rinse, tooth gel, tongue scraper and tooth brush all specifically designed to eliminate bad breath.

One of the many five star reviews on amazon comes from bumblebee:

It really does help! I ordered it for my close relative who was feeling really bad about her bad breath and although I really doubted it would help, it worked and I really do recommend that product to anyone who has bad breath! 🙂

Tung Brush for Treating Bad Breath and Tongue Gunk

The Tung Brush is especially designed to remove odour caused by bacteria. The unique design of the flat head and bristles keep the tongue extra clean to avoid bad breath.

This review by amazon reviewer “Me” explains how important tongue hygiene is in combating bad breath:

This product is absolutely amazing. 80% of bad breath comes from the back of your tongue. I’m surprised no one else has thought of this idea. We see tongue scrapers and mouthwashes on the market but we hardly see a good quality tongue brush to clean out tongue.

All the companies want us to buy mouthwashes to clean and freshen out breath, but the truth is that mouthwash just masks your breath for a very short period..that’s it. It won’t remove the bacteria, it won’t scrub it off, it will just stay there.

Now about this Tung Brush. There is also a special kind of zinc tongue gel sample that comes with this brush, which I think is not very good. This is how I use the brush, firstly after brushing your teeth with your toothbrush, apply a strip of normal toothpase (anything that you normally use, I use Aquafresh), then put some water onto it, and then scrub your tongue with it, but only go from back to front motions not back, front, front back etc. But most importantly remember your focus is to clean the very back of your tongue as this is where all the odour smelling bacteria is! This may make you gag a few times, but it is worth it. Afterwards spit, rinse and gargle. And now your tongue and mouth will feel so clean, that your sense of taste will change aswell, it will feel much cleaner and fresher.

You can also buy a Tung tongue scraper from Amazon to use after the Tung brush, this just adds to removing even more bacteria and foul smelling breath.

This is my first review, I wrote it because I think this Tung Brush is an absolute essential for clean and fresh breath. It really will affect your sense of taste.

 

Transcript from Video

00:01 Speaker 1: From bad hair, to bad breath. Halitosis is a tricky problem for us GP’s, not because we’re particularly prone to it, you understand, but because we’re often the last port of call for desperate patients. People complaining of persistent bad breath often end up coming back to their GP after their dentist has checked their mouth and various specialists who have looked at their throats, lungs and stomach. So, what can the GP add if there is no abnormality to find? Well, the first thing he or she can do is actually check that their patient has bad breath. Offering to smell someone’s breath can be embarrassing for both parties but it’s essential, as I discovered when I met Tim Hodgson, Consultant in oral medicine at the Eastern Dental Hospital in London.

00:42 Tim Hodgson: I think the most important thing to say to these individuals is, “Is it there or is it not?” And you’ve got to be very careful how you say it cause often these people are coming to you with a problem that they feel is real. And then, if you turn immediately around to them and say, “This is not real”, you can run into problems. But I think it’s very important within the first discussion to smell the breath cause that’s the gold standard test, and if they haven’t got bad breath you can say at that moment in time they don’t have halitosis but it is possible that in times previously that they had. And it’s often the case that people have halitosis, address their gum health.

01:22 S1: And gum health being the most common cause of it?

01:24 TH: Yeah. And after that they’re left with this perception that they’ve still got halitosis even though they’ve corrected the cause. And that’s sometimes reinforced by family members, friends and relatives. And often they come along with a very considered construct that people on their bus or on the Tube are turning away from them or covering their face or won’t talk to them directly because they feel they’ve got bad breath. And they look, almost looking for people who are avoiding them because of their bad breath.

01:58 S1: And that reinforces their notion that they’ve got bad breath.

01:59 TH: Yeah, it reinforces and helps build a construct in their own head.

02:03 S1: As a rough guide, what sort of proportion of people that you see here with halitosis would, in your mind, not necessarily have a real problem but have a perceived problem? Are they a significant minority?

02:14 TH: I would say probably 80% of patients referred with halitosis to our service don’t have halitosis.

02:21 S1: Do they believe you when you smell their breath and say, “Look, I can’t smell anything”.

02:26 TH: Some do, and others don’t.

02:29 S1: Working along side Tim Hodgson at the Eastern Dental Hospital is clinical psychologist, Claire Daniel.

02:34 Claire Daniel: For some of these people, they may well have had halitosis in the past so they’ve set up this way of thinking is… We work in a cognitive behavioural way which basically looks at the way in which people think, they way in which they feel, what they do and the physical symptoms and how they all interact. So, this patient in the past may well have had halitosis. They’ve set up this belief system thinking about their breath, maybe they’re focusing on their breath. And as Tim said, they’ve had past experiences of people reinforcing that they’ve got halitosis. Now, even if the halitosis disappears some patients may well remain quite anxious about that and so they will keep on focusing on the potential symptoms. And they become very biased in the way in which they see and hear information so they become very focused on the negative stuff that will reinforce their beliefs and will sort of ignore the other bits of information that may well support a more helpful, more realistic way of thinking about their situation.

03:25 S1: So, when a doctor or a dentist tells them that they haven’t got bad breath, they’ll say, “Well, that’s not true or I haven’t got my bad breath today but, trust me, I had it yesterday because I saw someone in the pub wince”.

03:36 CD: Yes, absolutely. So, it’s either, “Well yes, it’s okay today but it wasn’t yesterday or it won’t be tomorrow”. But also, some people initially will be reassured by somebody saying they haven’t got bad breath but, as we know, reassurance is for people who believe they have medical difficulties can only be short-lived for most people. So, they’ll feel very reassured in the consulting room and then will go home and their whole belief system will trigger again, maybe reinforced by the people. So, their anxiety maintains.

04:02 S1: Looking at this from the outside, Tim’s got perhaps the easy part of the job when he says, “Look, I don’t think you have halitosis”, and he then does the referral to you.

04:09 CD: Absolutely.

04:09 S1: And you’ve got to do something about it. It’s quite a complex problem so what can you do and how successful might you be?

04:14 CD: Yeah, it’s very complex. Cognitive behavioural therapy is an anxiety about health in general, we don’t set out to tell people that they’re wrong. We set out to try and help people understand what’s going on. So, we don’t just talk about their physical reported symptoms. We’ll talk about the way in which they’re interpreting things, they way in which they’re thinking about things, and how those interpretations actually may be unhelpful. They might seem helpful to the patients, like go to the doctor, go to the dentist, focus on their breath to check, maybe clean their teeth, but in the long term they can be very unhelpful and maintain the problem. So, we help people to take a broader outlook on their situation. We don’t tell them what it’s not, we help them to understand what it could be and then we help them to develop evidence to support what it could be rather than maybe what it’s not.

05:01 S1: And practically, what is involved and how often do you see them?

05:04 CD: So, we’d see people maybe every week, every two weeks.

05:08 S1: Is this one-on-one?

05:09 CD: Yes, one-on-one, for this particular condition. One-on-one, so one patient with one psychologist for about 50 minutes about, on average about eight times.

05:17 S1: And in terms of success rate, how effective is it?

05:20 CD: I would say, we do help… With particularly halitosis, we probably help about 80-90% of people.

05:28 S1: That’s pretty good.

05:28 CD: But I wouldn’t… But then it’s a continuum, we might help some people just a little bit. And I think with things like anxiety about health, it’s a life-long issue. We’re not just going to suddenly stop people’s anxieties. It’s about helping them to live with uncertainty and live with a degree of anxiety about their condition. So, they’ll still have times when they think their breath smells.

05:46 S1: Clinical psychologist Claire Daniel. Just time to tell you about the next Inside Health when I will be investigating the side effect of cancer treatment…