Bad breath is typically caused by the breakdown of food, but other culprits include poor dental hygiene, dry mouth, infection, disease, and tobacco usage.  It is important to conduct thorough oral hygiene at home twice a day.  This includes toothbrushing and flossing to remove food debris and plaque on teeth, as well as brushing the tongue to remove odor-causing bacteria.  Studies have shown that tongue and tooth brushing along with flossing significantly decreased bleeding of gum tissue and reduced bad breath.  Cleaning of the tongue is very important, and often forgotten.  Many toothbrushes have a tongue cleaner on the back of the head of the toothbrush.  This makes it easy to simply flip the toothbrush over and scrape the tongue starting from the back and working to the front, rinsing the toothbrush each time.  An antiseptic mouth rinse can also be a helpful adjunct in minimizing bad breath.  The key is optimal oral hygiene at home on a regular basis along with semi-annual professional dental cleanings.