How to keep it fresh this Valentine’s Day

According to a survey of nearly 35,000 men and women, one of the biggest turnoffs on a date is bad breath. also names it as one of 3 Dating Deal Breakers by both men and women.  No wonder then that it’s the source of relationship anxiety, and therefore kind of a big deal.

Fortunately Bad Breath is easy to fix for most people.  In the Valentine’s Day spirit of nurturing new and existing relationships, we’ve gathered some useful information below to help with your next date or existing relationships.

Bad Breath is created by certain types of bacteria.  These bacteria cause sulphur gases to be released in the mouth, which comes across as a noxious odour.  You might be interested to know that some of these yucky odour causing bacteria also grow on the feet.

Stay on the look out

Bad Breath can happen to everyone, including celebrities.  According to the NY Daily News Brad Pitt teases Angelina Jolie regularly about Bad Breath, even giving her mints as a loving joke for her 2013 Valentine’s Day.  Kim Kardashian said on Keeping with the Kardashians that Khloe’s ex Lamar Odom’s breath is so bad that it makes her want to throw up in her mouth when she gives him a hug.  Hugh Grant is reported to have an unfortunate reputation for Bad Breath.

So how can you tell you have Bad Breath?  Asking a trusted friend can be a big help because it’s very difficult to tell bad breath on your own.  Another great way to find out is taking a floss test and seeing whether there are signs of blood or smells which can be an indicator for bad breath.  If you suspect it, it’s probably there to some degree.

The best 5 simple steps to help you avoid Bad Breath

Stay hydrated

When your mouth becomes try, there is less flow of saliva to cleanse bacteria which leads to greater activity of the odour producing bacteria.  Keeping some water close by during the course of a day will help this.  Just be mindful that this is staying hydrated with water only, as anything acidic (yes, that’s juices and soft drinks), will cause the opposite effect.  Acidic drinks cause the odour causing bacteria in Bad Breath to become more prominent.

Get the all clear from your dentist

The vast majority of the causes to Bad Breath comes from the mouth directly.  That is, from bacteria in decay cavities, missed areas in cleaning, tongue surfaces, and especially around gum disease.  These are areas that your dentist can definitely help you to manage with.  From a dentist’s viewpoint, there tends to always be some areas of bacteria build up in between cleans that patients have.  Most patients develop a degree of gingivitis (gum disease) in between even 6 monthly cleans, and the worse the gum disease, the greater the tendency for Bad Breath to be.

In some instances, after your dentist has given you a big tick for a wonderfully healthy mouth, there can be other causes from the rest of the body that your doctor can help look at.

Clean well

Cleaning your mouth well also means brushing the top surface your tongue.  This is especially important if you are looking to minimize Bad Breath.

You might get tired of your dentist reminding you of the importance of flossing very visit, but limiting Bad Breath is one of the big advantages to flossing.  There are areas that brushing just can’t get to.  As we mentioned earlier, blood is a bad sign for the health of your mouth.  If you notice it brushing and flossing, it’s time to ask your dentist for advice on why it’s happening.

Brush at least twice a day for 2 minutes thoroughly (but don’t confuse thorough for tough-hard pressure).

Watch your habits

Smoking is a big cause of Bad Breath.  Alcohol can dry the mouth and do the same.  Acidic foods and drinks are also notable causes.  It’s no surprise that regular coffees odours can stick around and be hard to get rid of.  The same can be said for garlic and onions which tend to linger around even after brushing.

Be organised to tackle Bad Breath

Mints and chewing gum definitely help after eating.  Buy a bulk pack of chewing gum and keep the chewies stashed in the car, in your bag, at work, everywhere!  This and having a bottle of water close by are great ways to keep Bad Breath under control when you’re getting through busy days.  If you do have a mint or chewing gum make sure it’s sugar free as you would otherwise be helping your Bad Breath but causing decay cavities at the same time.

While mints and chewing gum help to quickly mask any odours, just be aware that they ultimately don’t solve the cause of the Bad Breath which can come back very quickly.

We hope these tips have set you on the right track to having fantastic fresh breath.  Aside from your date or partner, your co workers are bound to love you for it.  Remember that well trained dentist like the ones at The Smile Team are the perfect professionals to help give you even more personalised advice.

If you have any questions on Bad Breath or dental health, email us at or call (03) 9859 8517.

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