Bad breath can not only be embarassing but it can also be a sign of something more serious like gum disease.
Whether it’s rich food, office drinks or pre-party exercise, you’ll be shocked to learn how lifestyle changes during the festive season can impact bad breath.
Dentist Luke Thorley has given us the lowdown on what to watch out for in order to maintain fresh breath.
Here’s the top tips from the dentist’s mouth…
We’re all tempted to eat more of the things that we shouldn’t over Christmas and often don’t realise the effect that constant grazing can have on our breath. If you want to stay fresh-breath confident throughout the party season, try these top tips.
Beat the buffet: Be aware that Christmas party favourites like walnuts, brazil nuts, smoked salmon and cream cheese canapés can contribute to bad breath, as they provide a source of sulphur-producing bacteria which can cause oral odour. Other foods with sulphur-producing bacteria include dairy, meat, fish, egg, nuts and beans, so mix it up when you’re piling up your plate.
Pass the parsley: Christmas platters are filled with parsley and mint, so don’t leave them on the buffet table! Chew on a fresh sprig of parsley, as the chlorophyll in these green plants are a known breath deodoriser and neutralise odours.
Hold back on the fruit juices, these acidic drinks can make bad breath much worse
Vegetate on vegetables: Head for the crudités! Snacks of crispy, fresh fruits and vegetables are natural cleansers and help clean plaque off your teeth, while stepping up your saliva flow to help wash away bacteria from teeth, tongue and gums that can cause bad breath.
Re-think your mint: Get those salivary glands flowing. Chewing is great, as it stimulates the salivary glands to produce more saliva that helps to combat negative bacteria that leads to bad breath.
However, mints/gum that contain sugar will only feed the bacteria creating even more offensive, sulfur compounds, so double check the ingredients in your gum first. Strong or fruit flavourings in most mints and gum only mask your bad breath.
Use a sugar-free chewing gum that contains zinc, fluoride and Xylitol to give you fresh breath confidence.
Increased alcohol consumption over Christmas is inevitable and it can also lead to bad breath. Alcohol is a diuretic which means it dries up the saliva in your mouth which is needed to break down and rinse away bacteria. If you’re looking to have a tipple or two during Christmas, try to:
Mix it up: Drinking can change the normal oral environment and cause a reduction in the flow of saliva and reduce its effectiveness in controlling the effect of the bad bacteria. Combining alcohol with watery mixers help wash away food particles and bacteria.
Equal measures: With every unit of alcohol you consume, keep your mouth hydrated and have a glass of water to counteract your dry mouth (this will reduce the sore head in the morning too!)
Improve your morning routine: Use a professional oral rinse with active ingredients Zinc acetate and Chlorhexidine diacetate that neutralises and helps prevents the formation of the Volatile Sulphur Compounds that cause bad breath. Rinse in the morning with a mouthwash designed to last for 12 hours to see you through the working day and on to the party.
Excessive exercise during the festive season in a last attempt to squeeze into party-wear, coupled with rushing around between present buying and making it to the school nativity play, can all have an impact on your breath. Make sure you adopt these tips below to stay fresh breath confident:
Hydrate: Swap that egg nog latte for a bottle of water when you’re Christmas shopping and increase your H2O intake during exercise, as water dilutes the chemicals causing bad breath.
Up your oral game: Between visits to the in-laws and food shopping for a turkey, don’t forget to do the oral basics. Brushing and flossing teeth at least twice a day can help keep the mouth fresh and clean all day long.
Always keep mouthwash handy. Use a professional oral rinse with active ingredients zinc and chlorhexidine to give you protection against bad breath for 12 hours. Using a good mouthwash together with improving oral hygiene can be more effective at reducing oral malodour.