Nothing ruins a romantic night out on Valentine’s Day like lingering bad breath from your spicy dish at dinner or dry mouth from a cocktail when it’s time for the big kiss. Regardless of what’s on the menu, avoid receiving the gift of breath mints (unlike this famous celebrity couple) with these four easy tips to help keep your breath fresh and your mouth kissable for your big date:
1. Brush and floss regularly. If you haven’t been bothered by your bad breath (even though you really should be) and don’t have a regular brushing and flossing routine, now is an excellent time to start. Bacteria loves moist, warm places, but proper oral hygiene keeps the levels under control. Not only does brushing and flossing prevent bad breath, it also wards off gum disease and decay. If you want your date to cuddle even closer, brush right after your meal.
2. Avoid spicy, strong-scented foods that are loaded with garlic and onions. If you’re headed out to dinner, think carefully about what you order. Spicy and pungent foods, like garlic, can remain on your breath for hours. Rather, choose fruits and vegetables, such as red bell peppers, that are rich in Vitamin C. Crunchy, raw food helps loosen food particles that may be trapped in your teeth and lead to bad breath. If parsley is a garnish on your plate, go ahead and pop it in your mouth for a quick deodorizing effect.
3. Drink plenty of water. Bacteria loves dry mouths. Drink water or chew gum to help stay hydrated and keep your mouth clean. As you peruse the dessert menu with your sweetie, avoid the fudgy chocolate cake or whipped cappuccino mousse pie. Choose a dessert with fruit, such as strawberries or oranges, which will increase your saliva and freshen your breath.
4. Before you open that bottle of wine, remember that alcohol and bad breath are linked. Alcohol, a diuretic, dries the saliva that’s needed to rinse away stinky bacteria. If you can pass on alcohol, sip lemon water. Not only are lemons an amazing antidote for neutralizing bad breath, but they are chock-full of Vitamin C and will provide you with a burst of fresh energy.
More Suggestions to Keep Your Mouth Kissable on Valentine’s Day
- Eat yogurt. According to the International Association for Dental Research, hydrogen sulfide, a big cause of off-putting breath, decreased in 80 percent of participants who ate yogurt twice a day for six weeks.
- Bring a pack of gum or a box of mints for after your meal.
- Pack a travel toothbrush and floss.
Nobody wants to have bad breath, especially not on a day set aside for romance. This Valentine’s Day, after you’ve purchased the chocolates and the evening is primed for romance, check your breath: Put your hand in front of your mouth, breathe into your palm, and find out how funky your mouth is. If it makes your eyes water, grab your toothbrush as quickly as you can.