The countdown to Valentine’s Day is ticking and you do not want your date to flake on you just because he/she could perceive a malodour emanating from your mouth. Whether it was that onion and garlic-infused breakfast you had in the morning or that spicy ‘waakye and shito’ you had 2 hours prior to the occasion, I personally would not want to hear that your date left you at the table alone with the excuse that he/she had to make a call or visit the washroom. They usually don’t return, do they? Well, here are 7 magic tips for a fresh breath and cleaner teeth this valentine’s day:
- Brush your tongue: Brushing your tongue on a regular basis means you can effectively eliminate odour-causing germs that accumulate on the tongue and cause bad breath (halitosis). The tongue is one of the over-looked areas in the mouth. We are usually in a hurry to leave the house so we quickly brush our teeth and dash to the car, forgetting that the tongue also needs some love. Bacteria buildup on your tongue can effectively be removed with the bristles of a toothbrush, the back of some toothbrush heads (they have these tiny dots and projections at the back of the toothbrush head), the tongue brush (a brush designed purposely for the tongue and the tongue scraper.
- Limit your spicy/sugary food intake. Spicy food can bring on bad breath especially when you do not expect it. The odours of these foods enter your bloodstream and head right to your lungs, coming out with each exhale. You can limit it a bit especially if you have a date or meeting where you would be doing a lot of talking. But if you’re home, you can eat them without any fear or embarrassment. You also need to limit your sugary food intake. Sugar attracts harmful bacteria that destroy the tooth’s enamel, which can cause a cavity (tooth decay) in the affected tooth. People who regularly consume sugar have a higher risk of developing tooth decay (dental caries), particularly if the food they eat is sticky or consumed in between mealtimes.
- Chew sugar-free gum: Chewing sugar–free gum has been shown to increase the flow of saliva, thereby reducing plaque acid, strengthening the teeth and reducing tooth decay. Majority of these sugar-free gums contain a chemical popularly known as xylitol and studies have shown it to be effective in inhibiting harmful bacterial growth in the mouth. Chewing sugarless gum can also be a quick fix for transient bad breath especially after eating a spicy meal.
- Floss your teeth: Flossing contributes to good dental hygiene because it lifts and removes plaque and food in between your teeth. Brushing also removes plaque and food debris, but the bristles of a toothbrush can’t reach deep in between teeth to remove it all. Therefore, flossing helps keep your mouth as clean as possible. Keep a floss handy.
- Quit smoking: Quitting cigarettes, shisha, and pipe smoking plays a major role in reducing bad breath and it also reduces your risk for oral cancers. Tobacco-based products cause us more harm than good. In case you smoke, try to cut it down or completely eliminate the habit by substituting it with nicotine patches nasal sprays, inhalers, lozenges and nicotine chewing gums.
- Drink lots of water: Dry mouth is one of the causes of bad breath so you need to always keep your teeth moist. Having a bottle of water with you at all times goes a long way to reduce any chances of bad breath before or during your date. Limit your caffeine and alcohol intakes since these two (2) culprits can induce dehydration of the oral tissues, resulting in bad breath.
- Visit the dentist every 6 months for professional cleaning: Scaling and polishing removes deposits such as plaque and calculus (tartar) from tooth surfaces. Over a period of time, the regular removal of these deposits may reduce bad breath (halitosis), gingivitis (a mild form of gum disease) and prevent progression to periodontitis (severe gum disease). Schedule an appointment with your dentist before Valentine’s Day.
Say cheese, take picture! Strike a pose and take a picture this Valentine’s Day. I wish you the very best!
Thanks for reading.
Stay connected to the Vine. Stay Gorgeous and Stay Professional.