Hot Tips for Hot Dates!

Confidence matters!

Do you worry about your breath when you are going out for a social evening or on a date? Lots of stress when you want to be at your best! By following good oral hygiene procedures, you can ensure that transient bad breath is not going to ruin that important date or social occasion you have been looking forward to.

First of all, your mouth has to be clean to be fresh. Take a bit of time and properly brush your teeth and gums with toothpaste. Always floss your teeth before going out. Areas between your teeth harbor odorous bacteria and the longer the bacteria stay there undisturbed, the smellier it is. Flossing is good insurance that your breath will stay fresh. Use unflavoured floss and smell each segment as you floss. Identify the areas that may cause you embarrassment. If you find a smelly area, floss until the odour is gone. If these areas are not cleaned well, your breath may smell like a sulfur factory!

In addition to brushing and flossing, be sure to clean your tongue with a tongue cleaner. Tongue cleaners are easily available and you should be able to find one in your local pharmacy or online. If you are still concerned, brush a small quantity of mouthwash into the surface of the tongue after you clean off the coating. Be gentle - the tongue surface is much more sensitive than your teeth!

A few extra minutes spent on these activities will keep your breath fresh for the evening. You can go out with confidence!

What if you are out and you begin to feel concerned about your breath? Suppose your mouth feels a bit stale - stress will do that sometimes. Keep some sugarless mints or gum handy for emergencies like this. Take a mint yourself first before offering one to your date to be polite. Offering the mint to your date first may make him/her feel that he/she has a breath problem and you are merely trying to be tactful!

When you are out for dinner, sipping on mineral water that is sparkling or plain, or on lemony drinks such as iced tea or water with a few drops of lemon juice will make your mouth feel fresher.

Suppose you have some pasta with a spicy sauce that has garlic in it or a hamburger with onions. Your date decides to have the same or a similar food item. This is great because neither one of you will detect the other person's garlic or onion breath. However, if one of you has the spicy sauce and the other one has fish and chips, your breath will tell the tale. This is simply "food breath" and should not cause any embarrassment. However, if you are concerned, the restaurant often will offer you a discreet remedy. How's that, you say! Well, have you noticed that parsley is a garnish included with meals in some restaurants? Parsley is a wonderful natural deodorant for your mouth (breath lozenges like BreathAsure are based on parsley oil). Nibble at the parsley on your plate and you will definitely decrease the spicy odour ... just be careful that green stuff doesn't get in between your teeth and sparkle when you smile! Follow up with a sip and discreet swish with the lemon water you thoughtfully ordered earlier to stimulate your salivary flow. Now you know how to cover your bases - bon appetit!


Help for Dry Mouth!

Is dry mouth a problem? Did you know:
When saliva is produced in less than required amounts, the mouth becomes dry. This creates an environment that promotes the growth of odour-causing bacteria. The increase in these bacteria will increase volatile sulphur compound (VSC) production. When there is very little saliva, these smelly gases combine more easily with mouth air and the breath can become very unpleasant.

Moisturizing Tips
While chewing gum or mints will help you to produce more saliva and will improve your breath, a gum or mint that is sweetened with xylitol is your best option. Xylitol is a natural sweetener that not only increases your saliva but also works to prevent bacteria from replicating in the mouth. If you prefer gum to mints, make sure you do not stress your TMJ (your jaw joint) with too much vigorous chewing.

Lemon juice stimulates salivary flow!
For those who suffer from the occasional dry mouth, sipping a delicious fresh lemon juice and water drink is not only refreshing but helps that miserable dry feeling by rebooting your body's natural saliva flow!

Eat your veggies
Eating more fruits and vegetables at mealtime or as a snack can get those salivary glands working overtime. Next time you're dry, try raw carrots, celery or apples and see how well this works.

How is your water intake?
You could be dry because fluids are low. The human body constantly loses moisture through breathing, perspiration and urination. Our bodies need to replenish our water supply with about 6 to 8 cups of fluid each day. The busier you are, the more water you need. So if you are working out in the gym or if you do a lot of talking, water is what you need. Take a water bottle along to the gym and have water pitchers at the meeting table.

Hunger Odour - those smelly ketones

Are You Eating Regularly?
Did you know that hunger odour can be detected on your breath and is very unpleasant? Hunger odour is most noticeable in those individuals who eat infrequently, as many do when they are on a diet. Meal skipping, fasting or simply not eating enough can produce a very objectionable breath odour that remains even after brushing. This occurs when there is a lack of available carbohydrate in the diet; the body begins to metabolise its fat reserves in a process called ketosis (the scientific principle on which low-carb diets are based). The ketone molecules the body is forced to use as fuel create unpleasant breath and body odour.

Fruits and fruit juices are good examples of carbohydrate rich foods that, when used as snacks, will help to control hunger odour.

Gym-goers, take note. If you are going to exercise, make certain that you have had something to eat or you will have hunger odour as your body uses up the calories. A snack goes a long way in keeping your mouth fresh at the gym.

Is your toothbrush making you sick?

Should you sterilize your toothbrush?
Studies show that bacteria and fungi can be found on toothbrushes. Cold sore viruses can exist for 48 hours on dry toothbrushes and for 7 days on moist brushes. There are many bacteria in the mouth that are capable of disease. A study in 1996 showed that out of 59 patients with inflamed tissues in the mouth, 34% recovered just by changing their toothbrush.

Toothbrushes should be changed often!
We recommend a change at least every two months. Those who are ill should change their brushes at the beginning of the illness, when they begin to feel better, and when they are completely better. Healthy individuals should check their brushes for buildup of toothpaste or dark stain around the bristles. Bacteria grow on the bristles and re-infect the mouth when you brush.

Researchers are looking at products that can effectively disinfect your toothbrush. You can effectively clean your brush by putting it in the dishwasher along with your dinner dishes. You can also soak your brush in an antimicrobial mouthrinse. Wash out the toothpaste caught in the bristles and soak for about 30 minutes. This may not sterilize the brush but it will make it a lot cleaner and safer.


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