Minty Breath for the Mistletoe
For many, kissing under the mistletoe is a time-honored tradition – but if one of you has bad breath, it might not be such a merry experience. To keep your breath mistletoe-ready, try these tips:
- Skip smelly foods. Steer clear of foods that contain onion and garlic. These ingredients tend to contribute to stinky breath.
- Keep gum handy. If you don't want to alter your eating habits, carry sugar-free mints or gum with you. They won't prevent bad breath, but they'll help mask it long enough for a kiss or two. Mints and gum that contain xylitol are an even better bet – the natural substance helps block cavity-causing bacteria.
- No gum and no mints? Swishing with water after you eat will help banish bad breath. Drinking water regularly throughout the day will also help keep your mouth hydrated and the bacteria levels low.
- Forego coffee. Just because dinner's over doesn't mean you're free from things that cause bad breath. Enjoying a cup of coffee post-meal can give you a case of halitosis, so you might want to swish water or have a mint after you've finished your cup of joe.
If you seem to have persistent bad breath even though you brush and floss regularly, there may be an underlying cause, such as gum disease, dry mouth or smoking. If it's an ongoing issue, discuss solutions with your dentist.