Don’t let bad breath spoil your Valentine’s Day
According to newly published research by the UK’s Oral Health Foundation, bad breath is the single biggest barrier to landing your Valentine’s Day date. So whether you are looking to enjoy a romantic evening with some much needed new company or simply planning to enjoy the night with your existing partner, take a moment to make sure that bad breath doesn’t spoil the day. Here’s why your breath matters and what you can do to keep it fresh.
Bad breath – crunching the numbers
Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is an extremely common problem. It is believed to affect as many as 50% of adults in the UK. As well as causing those affected to feel self-conscious and less confident, the new research by the Oral Health Foundation has, for the first time, measured the effect it has on others in the context of dating.
The survey revealed that bad breath would be a put-off for 85% of British adults looking for a new partner. In fact, single Brits have deemed it a bigger faux-pas than bad jokes, terrible dress sense, lateness and even poor manners. Even if the first date appeared to be a success, bad breath could still get in the way – the findings also show that 80% would not go on a second date with someone if they had bad breath on the first.
What causes bad breath?
Bad breath can be caused by a number of factors. In the short term, eating strong-smelling or spicy foods such as garlic or tuna will taint our breath, while drinks such as coffee and red wine will also add to the problem – so think carefully if you are cooking or treating a potential partner to a romantic meal out!
The main cause of bad breath, however, is poor oral hygiene. Not brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, or cleaning in between your teeth regularly with an interdental brush, can lead to bad breath. Failing to do the latter will allow bits of food to build up in between your teeth which in turn will encourage bacteria and plaque to form, leading to smelly breath. The tongue can also harbour a lot of bacteria, some of which encourage bad breath, so brushing your tongue can be something you can incorporate into your dental routine.
Finally, persistent bad breath can also be a sign of gum disease, which if left untreated, can lead to tooth loss.
How can I get rid of bad breath?
“Some people try masking bad breath by simply popping a mint in their mouth but this will not solve the problem,” says Dr Nigel Carter OBE, chief executive of the Oral Health Foundation. “Chewing sugar free gum on the other hand can help as it increases saliva flow. Saliva helps to clean out your mouth and get rid of bad-breath bacteria.”
The real key to solving problems with bad breath, however, lies in addressing the underlying causes. First and foremost, ensure that you follow a good oral hygiene routine that includes the following:
- Brush twice a day for at least two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste
- Use floss or interdental brushes
- Rinse during the day with mouthwash
- Brush your tongue
In addition, consider what you eat and drink during the day. If you enjoy particular foods or drinks that are known to cause bad breath, consider avoiding them or brush or rinse afterwards to reduce the side-effects. Starchy foods such as crisps, for example, are notorious for leaving remains in hard to access areas of your teeth that can quickly develop into bad breath, whilst sticky sweets and sugary drinks can leave a film over your teeth that is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria.
If you have tried your best and still find that you are not happy with your breath, the best advice is to visit your dentist or dental hygienist, who will be able to provide personalised, professional advice.
To book an appointment today, call us now on 01332 916 351.
Posted by Bridge Dental and Implant Clinic on 13th February 2019, under Dental health