“To expect to be kissed having bad breath is the secret of a fool.”
― Dejan Stojanovic (Writer and Poet)

What comes to mind when you think of February? Me… I think how I only have a few weeks to plan Valentine’s Day for that special someone. People tend to plan everything right down to the final kiss at the end of the evening. And then your brain immediately sends your cupped hand to your mouth as you check to see if your breath is minty fresh.

So, what causes bad breath? Well, we’ve discussed it before, with romance in the air, it never hurts to reiterate some good advice.

  • Food
  • Smoking
  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Dry mouth

So, let’s start with one of the most obvious reasons you may be experiencing bad breath. Food. Food can be left behind after a quick snack or a hearty meal. Any leftover food particles between your teeth that weren’t easily swished away when you sipped your water, can remain wedged between your teeth and gums promoting bacterial growth. Easy simple fixes for this are:

  • Always carry a travel alcohol-free mouthwash;
  • Throw some floss or inter-dentals in your pocket/purse; and
  • Swish with water in between and after bites of food.

Smoking is a runner-up for the next most obvious reason you would have stinky breath. Cigarettes contain potent chemicals such as tar and nicotine that, inherently stain and stick to the tooth’s surface. Even further, this ‘smoker’s breath’ is due to smoke particles that are left in the throat and lungs and the stale scent can linger for hours.

Poor dental hygiene or oral care is an extension of food because if you’re not flossing and brushing daily, the food particles take residence in your mouth and then build upon each other. If you aren’t removing these particles, the bacteria or plaque can irritate and aggravate your gums and create plaque-filled pockets, aka, periodontitis. So brush twice a day and floss once a day.

Dry mouth is quite the stealth and ninja contributor to harrowing halitosis. Saliva acts as a conductor to a clean mouth by cleansing it and removing particles that cause that stinky stench. Having an underproduction of it can contribute to this problem and is a condition called xerostomia (zeer•o•STOE•me•uh). Try chewing some sugar-free gum to help stimulate production. If it seems that is not helping, check with your dental practitioner since it could be a problem with your salivary glands or another disease.

Once you have ruled out illness or disease, some great ways to help cut-down on the foul odor are some easy at-home remedies.

Try eating some raw fruits and veggies, like a crisp in-season apple or sugar-free gum. This will help rid your mouth of floating particles, plus increase your saliva production. But staying hydrated is often the most accessible remedy. Sip on water all day.

So use these tips to guarantee that your Valentine’s Day ends with a minty-fresh and hydrated smooch!

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