The reservations are made, the flowers are ordered, and the candy and chocolates are purchased. However, as men and women across the country gear up for Valentine’s Day, there is one accessory that no one wants to wear on the big day — bad breath.
According to MouthHealthy.org, the ADA’s consumer website, there are a number of reasons for developing bad breath. Many of the causes are harmless but bad breath can sometimes be a sign of something more serious. Causes include bacteria, dry mouth, gum disease, certain foods, tobacco-use and medical conditions.
Dr. Alice G. Boghosian, consumer advisor spokesperson for the ADA, shared some ways to better ensure a fresh, clean and kissable mouth. These tips are:
Don’t forget to brush. Bacteria is a big culprit of bad breath, so regular habits such as brushing and flossing are important. Certain toothpastes with the ADA Seal of Acceptance are proven to reduce bad breath. Brush twice a day and clean between your teeth daily with floss to get rid of all that bacteria that causes bad breath.
Watch what you eat. Avoid foods that can cause your mouth to smell such as garlic and onions.
Keep saliva flowing. Carry some sugarless gum or pump up your fluid intake before the big night to decrease dry mouth.
Kick the habit. Tobacco products can cause bad breath, stain teeth and irritate gum tissues.
According to MouthHealthy.org, additional tips include:
Take care of your tongue. If you stick out your tongue and look way back, you’ll see a white or brown coating. That’s where most of bad breath bacteria can be found. Use a toothbrush or tongue scraper to clear them out.
Use mouthwash. Over-the-counter mouthwashes can help kill bacteria or neutralize and temporarily mask bad breath.
Clean your dentures. If you wear removable dentures, take them out at night, and clean them thoroughly before using them again the next morning.
Visit your dentist regularly. If you’re concerned about what’s causing your bad breath, make an appointment to see an ADA dentist. Regular checkups allow your dentist to detect any problems such as gum disease or dry mouth and stop them before they become more serious.