When the chances for that second date are looking more than promising, the last thing you want is for bad breath to creep up and ruin your night. And even though you probably don’t have a portable toothbrush or mouthwash stored inside your clutch, bad breath can be avoided in easy ways you probably never saw coming.
Usually caused by odor causing bacteria lingering on your tongue, bad breath is often a result of dry mouth, according to experts like Dr. Irwin Smigel, President of the ASDA and creator of Supersmile. And when your mouth isn’t producing saliva like it should, bacteria can take over, leading to foul-smelling breath in return.
“More than 85 percent of bad breath is caused by tongue bacteria,” explains Dr. Irwin Smigel. “This bacteria is often created as a result of dry mouth. When saliva is not produced, bad bacteria takes over and causes bad breath.”
To keep your breath smelling fresh and odor free, here’s how to avoid bad breath on your next date night.
Brush More Than Your Teeth
Before heading out to the date, it’s wise to give your mouth a good cleaning. However, instead of just focusing on your teeth, experts recommend giving your tongue an equal amount of care, being that’s where odor causing bacteria usually is found.
“Brushing is not limited to just the teeth- your tongue needs to be cleaned too,” says Dr. Timothy Chase, cosmetic dentist of SmilesNY. “The grooves and ridges on your tongue can be a breeding ground for bacteria, and this can be the cause of bad breath as well.”
Choose Your Mouth Wash Wisely
While mouthwash seems like a viable option to hide any gross odors, experts like Dr. Timothy Chase caution against it, being that while many washes cover bad breath, they do not exactly treat the underlying cause of the problem.
“Most mouthwashes cover bad breath but they do not treat the underlying cause,” says Dr. Timothy Chase. “If you like using mouthwash, go with an alcohol-free brand, because the alcohol in mouthwash will dry out your mouth.”
Grab Some Strawberries
For a natural pick-me-up, munching on some strawberries can work to keep bad breath at bay. And even better news is that they can keep teeth polished and white in addition.
“Strawberries are a great tooth polisher and as a bonus, they can even help freshen breath,” says Dr. Timothy Chase.
Limit Alcoholic Drinks
Although cocktails can definitely give you liquid courage you may be lacking, sipping alcoholic beverages can definitely lead to dehydration which ultimately caused bad breath. To keep your mouth refreshed all night long, drinking lots of water will surely alleviate any bad breath situation fast.
“Drinking alcohol can lead to dehydration,” says Dr. Timothy Chase. “To avoid a situation like this, be sure to drink extra water - the less water you drink, the lower the flow of saliva in your mouth.”
Try Some Gum
And for refreshment in between meals, chewing an effective gum can squash any odors before they wreak havoc in your mouth.
“A good solution is to pop a piece of gum,” says Dr. Irwin Siegel. “Your gum should contain the ingredient xylitol, which fights cavities, such as Supersmile’s Professional Whitening Gum ($24).”
Prepare a Bad Breath Survival Kit
When need that mouth refresher pronto, here’s four odor-busting goodies to keep garlic breath to a minimum. And whether you like a handy floss or a trusty tongue scraper, you’ll never have to worry about unwanted odors ruining all those magical moments with these lifesaving tools.
To give your tongue a proper cleanse, the Orabrush Tongue Cleaner ($4.99) offers unique brush bristles, which scrapes off any harmful bacteria off your tongue.
Removing stains without brushing or rinsing, the Supersmile Quickee ($18) brightens teeth while keeping your breath smelling minty fresh.
Want a floss that helps cleanse your tongue while removing any lingering food and plaque? The Dentek Fresh & White Silky Whitening Floss Picks, Sparkle Mint ($2.99) is sure to freshen your entire mouth while keeping your smile on point throughout the evening.
Get rid of offensive odors fast with the Fig + Yarrow Oral Hygiene Rinse ($26), which uses natural ingredients to eliminate tongue bacteria in no time.