Fresh Breath For Your Valentine

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012, 8:02 pm

Keeping your breath fresh is not just for Valentines Day. Bad breath is consistently listed as the top turn-off in surveys about dating. So what should you do to keep your breath fresh? Most Americans reach for the mouthwash bottle when they realize their breath is kind of stinky. This is what has given rise to the $2 billion dollar a year industry built around bad breath and it is completely the wrong thing to do!

Minty freshness is only temporary. The majority of mouthwashes actually make your bad breath worse. This is because they contain large amounts of alcohol which dry up your saliva flow and since saliva helps wash away the bacteria that cause bad breath. The mouthwashes may mask the bad breath temporarily but the rebound breath may actually be worse than what you had before.

What does work to stop bad breath?

  • Keeping your teeth and gums clean. Brush, floss and get a professional cleaning at least every six months, more often if you have gum disease. Remember to always clean your tongue as well. Invest in an inexpensive tongue scraper and use it when you brush.
  • Keep hydrated. Drink lots of water and avoid sugary soft drinks and sports drinks. The sugars serve as a food source for oral bacteria.
  • Check your medications to see if dry mouth  is a side effect. Perhaps your doctor could switch you to an equally effective medicine that does not have this side effect.
  • Chew sugarless gum. Xylitol is a sugar substitute found in many sugarless gums and has been proven to improve saliva flow and keep bacteria at bay.
  • If you have onions or garlic with your meal remember to eat the parsley that is garnishing the plate. The chlorophyll in the leaves helps neutralize the odors from the food.

If you are still having problems with your breath after following these tips then it is time to work with your dentist and physician to rule out any medical causes or oral infections. Please contact Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA at 706-886-9439 to schedule your next appointment.

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