3 Tips for a Fresher Kiss This Valentine’s Day

Don’t let bad breath ruin your romance
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Love is in the air—but for millions of Americans, so is embarrassing bad breath. Before smooching your valentine, follow the Academy of General Dentistry’s (AGD) tips for halting halitosis.

“In many cases, patients aren’t aware that they have a bad breath problem,” says AGD spokesperson Guy Hanson, DDS, MAGD. “The odor, which originates in the gums and tongue, is caused by the bacteria in our mouths. Stress, dieting, age, hormonal changes, and dry mouth can exacerbate the issue.”

Dr. Hanson offers the following three tips for maintaining fresh breath.

Drink Water
Be sure to drink plenty of water, especially after meals, to help increase saliva flow and wash away leftover food particles.

Chew Sugar-Free Gum
Foods such as onions and garlic and beverages like coffee may be detected on a person’s breath for up to 72 hours after digestion. Unable to avoid indulging in odorous foods and beverages? Then follow up by chewing sugar-free gum to increase saliva flow, which will wash away the odor-causing bacteria.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene
Regular checkups with your dentist can help get rid of the plaque and bacteria that build up on your teeth. At home, brush for two minutes twice a day, and floss at least once a day. Remember to brush your tongue to remove the bacteria that build up there.

“Bad breath can have a significant impact, both personally and socially, on those who suffer from it,” Dr. Hanson says. “If your bad breath persists, your dentist can help you determine the source of the odor and offer helpful solutions.”

For more information about oral health, visit KnowYourTeeth.com.