You know the moment is approaching when you’ll lean in for the first kiss—or maybe the 30th, or 497th, or even just the first kiss of the day, and the last thing you want is to have bad breath get in the way of enjoying your shared moment. If you’re looking for a quick fix for bad breath (even if you’re just worried you might have bad breath), there are some easy steps you can take to get your breath kiss-ready.
A dry mouth is much more likely to be a malodorous mouth. That’s because saliva is important for several functions in the mouth, not the least of which is rinsing away food particles that can get trapped and smelly. It also helps keep bacteria at bay that release unpleasant-smelling sulfur compounds. Dry mouth is a serious medical condition that can cause a host of dental health issues, and you probably don’t want to suffer from any of them.
If your dry mouth is keeping you from being kiss ready, consider using a quick oral spray to freshen up your breath and moisturize all in one step.
#2 Change Up Your Diet
It’s absolutely no secret—some foods are more odorous than others. And, some foods are more likely to linger on your breath for a long time after eating them. Garlic is notorious for both its strong smell and its tendency to linger on the breath. It’s such a common part of the cultural vocabulary that it has its own name—garlic breath. Onions, salami, odorous cheese, fish—particularly canned fish like tuna and sardines are some of the most common offenders when it comes to food-related bad breath. What you drink can negatively impact your breath as well. Coffee breath has also earned a reputation for being unpleasant.
Interestingly enough, there are foods that, instead of wrecking breath, can freshen and improve it. Fresh herbs, green tea, and plain yogurt can be part of the fresh breath dream team. If you’re looking for kissable breath after dinner, consider skipping the after-dinner coffee for some green tea or look at that sprig of parsley on your plate in a new light. At the very least, take a moment to sip and swish some water to clean and freshen up your mouth.
#3 Brush Up Your Smile
Trapped food particles can cause unpleasant smells to develop in your mouth. They don’t smell pleasant in and of themselves, and they feed caries-causing bacteria, which can also cause breath to worsen. The best way to keep trapped food particles from becoming a problem is to keep food particles from staying trapped in your teeth and gums.
Brushing morning and night is a great habit to preserve oral health. When you’re on the run, it can be tricky to keep up brushing habits. Luckily, there are options available if you need to brush on the run. From folding, travel toothbrushes to single-use, no water needed brushing options, you can find something to works for you to keep your teeth clean anywhere life takes you.
#4 Rinse it Away
Sometimes, despite your best efforts you don’t have the time to wait 20 minutes after eating to brush your teeth and avoid bad breath from food particles. If you’re in need of a quick freshen up and you can’t brush up without risking brushing away enamel, consider using a high-quality oral rinse to swish away some sticky food particles. If you choose your rinse wisely, you can use one that helps balance oral pH to help prevent caries while you freshen up.
#5 Chew Some Gum
Oral rinse not your speed? Consider popping a piece of xylitol chewing gum to freshen breath and strengthen your teeth at the same time. Xylitol-containing products, unlike sugar-containing gums and mints, have shown potential to help prevent caries from developing. Additionally, chewing gum can help fight off the unpleasant effects of dry mouth.
#6 Stop Stressing
You may actually be more concerned about having bad breath than you really need to be. If you have worked the above remedies to treat the condition of your breath, chances are good that your efforts have paid off. If you still have concerns about your breath, be sure to share them with your dental care team or your doctor at your next visit. If there’s a bigger underlying problem that’s negatively impacting your breath, they can help you find the underlying causes and treat them.
Your breath is a part of your oral health. Here’s to happy, healthy kisses!