Bad breath is one of those things that is very seldom discussed. Nevertheless, it is very important, whether you are the one with it, or the one on the receiving end of it!
In a recent survey, 5,000 single people were asked what matters the most in the person with whom they are about to date. Keep in mind the survey was limited to external characteristics.
A whopping 43 percent rated fresh breath number one. The other qualities didn't even come close. Fresh breath was followed by 17 percent who said nicely dressed, 14 percent said good skin, 10 percent said good hair.
It's important to recognize that bad breath comes from BACTERIA. This should come as no surprise, because most bad smells are the result of growing bacteria. Therefore, the way to minimize bad breath is to minimize bacteria growth in your mouth.
Of course, most of us are well aware of the fact that bacteria is minimized by keeping the area in question CLEAN. So when it comes to your mouth, there are a number of areas to check.
First, make sure you brush your teeth a full two minutes. Most people only brush an average of 13 seconds! That's not long enough.
Secondly, make sure to floss in between your teeth twice a day. This is very important because food gets lodged into the tiny crevices between teeth and grows bacteria. So no matter how much you brush, you simply cannot get that food out from between your teeth without flossing.
Speaking of tiny nooks and crannies in your mouth, if you happen to wear braces, then you'll need to clean them thoroughly with a Waterpik to remove any food that has gotten stuck in your hardware.
Make sure your tongue is clean, especially the back of the tongue, near your throat. You can either brush this area, or better yet, purchase a tongue cleaner. But use caution: make sure not to press too hard or you'll cut yourself!
Now after you've cleansed your mouth of all bacteria, watch what you put in it. Drink plenty of water. Water contains oxygen and oxygen kills bacteria. By the way, saliva contains oxygen, so you'll want to avoid drying out the mouth. I'll get more to that a little later.
In addition to water, foods that contain water are also good choices such as leafy greens and berries. Eat that parsley on your dinner plate as you round-off your meal and eat berries for dessert!
On the other hand, avoid dairy products, especially cheese, which converts to sulfur compounds by bacteria. Remember chocolate contains dairy, so avoid it when possible.
Most of us already know coffee causes bad breath, so stay away from it. But also other acidic drinks: things that come from citrus or tomatoes. And if you must drink alcohol, at least drink a glass of water with it. Alcohol dries out your mouth.
And one more way to avoid drying out your mouth is by breathing through your nose, not your mouth. That may require getting sinus help. A neti-pot is a natural, wonderful sinus cleanser!