Mistletoe has been hung, setting blissful, kissing booby traps for the unsuspecting, and when the ball drops, lips will lock everywhere.
During the month of December, your oral health and hygiene needs to be on point!
Brushing and rinsing twice a day, as well as daily flossing, helps keep your mouth healthy but doesn’t necessarily ensure fresh breath that will last all day long. And during a season hallmarked by the unexpected, one does not want to be caught face-to-face suffering from a bad case of halitosis. So what can you do to improve your chances of being 100% smoochable should the opportunity arise? Read on for breath-saving tips that are sure to improve your chances of ringing in the New Year with more than a smile on your lips.
Food for Thought
When you eat, food is absorbed into your bloodstream and expelled out of your lungs when you breathe. This means that you may suffer from bad breath even when your diet is healthy and balanced. The following foods are notorious for turning breath foul, so ingest them sparingly or at least with extreme caution.
- Garlic: This powerful herb can turn a bland dish into a delectable culinary work of art. Its versatility allows it to be used in a variety of cuisines and eaten or used for cooking whole, crushed, chopped, or dried and powdered. Garlic is also renowned for its health benefits and its ability to ward off vampires. While it does all of these amazing things, its major drawback is its ability to turn the odor of your breath into a scent so repellant that even the most determined admirer would have great difficulty overcoming their repulsion long enough to plant a wet one on you. Also note: If eaten regularly and in large quantities, it can affect your body odor negatively as well.
- Onion: While onion is not as powerful as garlic, its fellow odoriferous bulb, this herb is commonly used to enhance the flavor of a large range of dishes. It is often served raw in salads, added to soups and other savory dishes, and comes in a large variety of types and flavors. The types of onion include brown onions, green onions, leeks, pearl onions, shallots, and more, and while they are all very different in appearance, texture, and flavor, they all have one thing in common: They make your breath stink.
- Coffee: Too much coffee gives you bad breath. It’s a hard truth to face, especially since dates at coffee shops are where many love stories begin. Coffee is wonderful at delivering a warm wake-up call each morning and nurturing its consumer into a state of alertness that allows them to take on the day. While this is a deeply appreciated trait, what few people realize is that it’s also one of the most dehydrating drinks you can consume. We aren’t suggesting that you quit coffee for good, but if you want the confidence that comes with fresh breath, you should limit your consumption to a cup a day.
- Alcohol: Don’t give up your Champagne toast at midnight on New Year’s Eve, but do watch your overall consumption of alcoholic beverages. That beer you look forward to at the end of each day and that weekly happy-hour cocktail you consume with your co-workers is drying out your mouth. When your saliva flow runs low, bad-smelling bacteria sticks around and turns breath bad.
Battle Bad Breath
There are a variety of simple ways you can actively ward off and battle bad breath on a daily basis.
- Stay hydrated: Drink water all day long. It washes away leftover food particles and the bacteria that can lead to decay, and it helps you avoid dry mouth. Aim for six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.
- Clean your tongue: Residual buildup between your taste buds and the fold in your tongue can affect your breath negatively. Keep your tongue clean by brushing it regularly. You can also find very effective tongue scrapers at most drugstores.
- Chew gum: Sugarless gum with xylitol keeps your breath fresh while cleaning your teeth. Gum stimulates the flow of saliva, which washes unwanted debris from your teeth.
- Snack on this: Crisp, fresh fruits and vegetables turn on the flow of saliva and decrease the occurrence of bad breath caused by hunger. When you become hungry, especially when you are on calorie-restricted diets, the acids in your stomach build up and give your breath a nasty scent.
- Eat your garnish: Parsley is a popular garnish on many of the dishes served in restaurants. Most people think the only purpose it serves is to pretty up your plate. But parsley contains chlorophyll, which is a powerful breath and post-meal romance saver.
If you want to feel completely confident this holiday season, give Vista Pacific Dental Care a call at (805)228-4483 and set up a cleaning. We will make sure your smile is New Year’s Eve ready, so you can enjoy kissing this year goodbye.