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Are you planning a romantic evening with your loved one for Valentine’s Day?  When you know that you are going to be up close to someone you care about, fresh breath is important. Below you will find the best tips to maintain fresh breath for your valentine, and every day of the year.

Top Breath Freshening Tips

-Keep Hydrated. Water has a dual purpose in maintaining dental health. It can wash away bacteria and food particles that can lead to bad breath and also keep  tissues hydrated which reduces the buildup of malodorous sulfur compounds on the back of the tongue. Another good beverage for fresh breath is green tea. Green tea has an increased ability to lower the levels of oral bacteria’s sulfur compounds. These sulfur compounds are the cause of many oral malodors which can linger for hours.

-Chew Sugarless Gum (even better with Xylitol). Chewing gum with xylitol can stimulate salivary production and clean our teeth. Xylitol is a natural sweetener derived from the fibrous parts of plants. It does not break down like sugar and can help keep a neutral pH level in the mouth. Xylitol also prevents bacteria from sticking to the teeth.  The number of acid-producing bacteria may fall as much as 90% when chewing gum with xylitol. A decrease in plaque will result in a decrease in odor.

-Maintain A Balanced Diet Filled With The Right Foods. Enjoying crunchy, high-fiber foods like apples and raw vegetables can increase your mouth’s production of saliva, which will diminish odor-causing bacteria. Cinnamon has been shown to kill odor causing bacteria. Vitamin C-rich foods stop odor-causing bacteria from spreading and neutralize odors from stinky foods like garlic and onions. Greek yogurt lowers a waste product from bacteria called hydrogen sulfide in the mouth. Chewing fresh parsley can also help your breath.

-Do Not Avoid Carbohydrates. The latest diets, like the Atkins Diet, require you to eat little to no carbohydrates. If you are eating a mostly protein diet, your body could go into a state of ketosis. Ketosis is when your body burns fats for energy and produces molecules called ketones. A type of ketone called acetone is then excreted in the breath, and can be described as smelling “fruity” or “rotten.” To avoid ketosis, eat a moderate amount of healthy carbohydrates, such as whole-grain breads, rice or pasta.

-Use An Anti Bacterial Mouthrinse Or Spray. Mouth rinses have many great qualities like reducing plaque buildup on teeth and helping to prevent periodontal disease. They also are able to keep breath fresh. Use a mouth rinse at least once a day will help keep the number of odor causing bacteria down to a minimum. There are also breath sprays, Closys is a great oral spray which directly neutralizes sulfur compounds.

Fresh Breath Conclusion

Maintaining fresh breath should be a goal year round and not just for Valentine’s day. Taking a few extra steps can help give you the confidence you need in intimate moments. If your bad breath persists please seek the help of a dentist to ensure the cause is not a more serious health condition.

It is Holiday time again…holiday parties, office parties, social occasions with friends, and mistletoe! Time to get yourself ready for these holiday events with a bright, shiny smile and clean, fresh breath.

Start with the Basics for Best Holiday Dental Health

The basics include brushing at least twice a day (for at least 2 minutes each time) and flossing daily. This is the foundation for a healthy smile and fresh breath. Brushing and flossing properly allow you to remove the food debris and plaque that builds up each day from our daily activities. This plaque and food debris, if left, will eventually cause tooth decay, periodontal disease, and bad breath.

Tip for fresh breath: Brushing your teeth and flossing work very well to reduce bad breath, but did you know there was another way to freshen your breath? Tongue cleaning or scraping removes dead cells and unwanted food particles from the folds of your tongue. The debris on your tongue is responsible for a good portion of bad breath.You can buy a specially designed tongue scraper or just use a separate toothbrush after brushing your teeth. Studies have shown this can improve breath by as much as 20%.

Choose Healthy Snacks this Holiday

Make a conscious choice this holiday to choose healthier options. These options can include a carrot, a stick of celery, or even an apple. These types of snacks also work well to help clean stickier foods and plaque off your teeth. They also have an added benefit of increasing salivary flow which will help neutralize acids and wash away bacteria from your teeth, gums, and tongue.

Tip for fresh breath: Chew on some garnish! You will usually find garnishes of parsley or mint on a holiday tray of food. Parsley is a breath saver because it contains chlorophyll, a well known breath deodorizer. Chewing on a few raw mint leaves will freshen your breath very quickly.

Choose the Right Drinks

As many of us are aware drinking certain beverages will lead to staining of our teeth. These beverages include soft drinks, black tea, coffee, and red wine. If you do choose to partake in these beverages try to use a straw to limit exposure to your teeth, or swish and swallow water directly after. This will not only help reduce stains but also lower the acid and sugar exposure on your teeth. Drinks high in sugar dry your mouth and make you thirstier, a dry mouth generally leads to bad breath.

Tip for fresh breath: Choose to drink water instead! Water will not stain your teeth and it helps keep bad breath under control because it washes away food particles and bacteria, the primary cause of bad breath. It also helps you avoid “dry mouth,” another cause of bad breath, by staying well hydrated. A good tip is also to try drinking green tea: gargling or rinsing your mouth with green tea suppresses the growth of bacteria that cause mouth odor as well as decrease your risks of tooth decay.

Quick Tips For a Pre Holiday Freshen Up

Some mouth rinses or breath fresheners may actually worsen a bad breath problem by irritating oral tissue with their high alcohol content. For an emergency freshen-up, try a quick rinse with a mix of water and a few drops of peppermint oil. Or, you can eat a piece of sugarless candy or chew sugarless gum. Sucking on a piece of sugarless candy or chewing sugarless gum stimulates saliva flow, which will help to wash away food debris and bacteria that cause bad breath. A breath spray can also help. most are minty and cover odors briefly, but you can try something like closys which actually neutralizes mouth odor.

If you follow these tips throughout the holiday season, you may find that not only will you enjoy your holiday festivities, confident in your bright smile and sparkling fresh breath, but also that you have improved your oral health for the coming new year. Remember the holidays are a time to smile joyously so feel comfortable knowing you have healthy teeth and fresh breath. Enjoy the holidays!!

Bad breath can be quite embarassing and create all sorts of social anxiety. Bad breath can be controlled, but first you need to be aware of what may be causing it.

What Are The Top Causes Of Bad Breath?

-Poor Dental Hygiene. Oral bacteria is probably the most common cause of bad breath.  It has the ability to hide in places that you may not reach with just a toothbrush. This includes below the gum line, between your teeth, in the very back of your mouth, and on the tongue. Poor dental hygiene can lead to development of periodontal disease which will exacerbate the bad breath issue. Even if you brush your teeth a couple of times each day and floss, you can never completely remove all of the bacteria from your mouth.  As you eat food, the bacteria break it down into waste products.  These waste products tend to pool at the back of the tongue and release volatile sulfur compounds. These create malodor.   These compounds are called volatile because they evaporate quickly and  create a “rotten egg” smell. Compound this with periodontal disease and the malodor intensifies.

-Diet. This can include foods like curry, onions, and garlic. Ingesting such foods do not only create mouth odor, but can permeate through the pores of the skin . Plant oils are absorbed and the byproducts enter your bloodstream so you are actually breathing the odors out via your lungs three to four hours after eating. Foods that are high in protein such as eggs, milk, and cheese have been linked to bad breath as well.

-Stomach Issues. Helicobacter pylori (H.pylori) is the name for the bacteria that causes stomach ulcers and has been shown to cause bad breath. Sometimes GI problems such as GERD or an ulcer can cause bad breath when you burp and gas is released, or cause higher volatile sulfur compounds to remain at the back of your throat.

-Menstruation. This is quite a common experience for many women. During menstruation, hormones alter the gums and other tissues in the mouth making it easier for bad breath causing bacteria.  Pregnant women may also experience bad breath due to these hormonal changes.

-Medications/Habits. This includes smoking tobacco products and drinking alcohol as well as some prescription drugs.

-Dry Mouth. This appears to cause bad breath by allowing certain bacteria  to overgrow  in your mouth.  This is a major factor in morning breath.  If you are unable to breathe through your nose at night due to a stuffy nose, your mouth can quickly dry out and becoming a breeding ground for those bad breath-causing bacteria.

-Tonsils. It is rare but tonsils can develop what is called a tonsillolith. This is a calcified substance that is caught in the large craters of your tonsils. This can create very bad breath when present.

-Infection and Illness. If you have ever had a mouth or sinus infection, you know how bad either can taste or smell. Infections in the body can also cause oral malodor.

Tips To Freshen Breath

-Maintain Good Dental Hygiene. This includes both at home and in office dental care.

-Reduce Dry Mouth. Stay hydrated. Try oil pulling therapy.

-Take care of medical issues. Treat Infections of the body. See a doctor to evaluate ulcers or gastritis. Improve your health and you will see an immediate decrease in bad breath.

-Chew gum with xylitol. Suck on sugar free candy

-Eat yogurt for sweeter breath.

-Try a neutralizing product. Closys is a spray applied to the back of the tongue to neutralize volatile sulfur compounds. Neutralizers don’t mask with mint flavors, they actually remove the problem.

Bad Breath Conclusion

Bad breath is not something anyone should have to live with. For most of us it can be brought under control with a few simple methods. If your bad breath continues even with improved oral hygiene there might be a bigger underlying cause that should be checked by your dentist and physician.