Fresh Breath for your Valentine Day Kiss

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, 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, 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.

© 2017 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction or republication is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission from the American Dental Association.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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Foul-smelling breath, usually caused by the breakdown of food. Other culprits include poor dental hygiene, dry mouth, disease, infection, tobacco use and severe dieting.


Most bad breath starts in your mouth, and there are many possible causes that include:

  • Food particles from stinky foods like garlic and onions
  • Smoking
  • Respiratory Infections
  • Acid Reflux
  • Poor Oral Hygiene