A Breath of Fresh, well, Breath!

A little known holiday is coming up on Wednesday, August 6th. Yes indeed, get ready for National Fresh Breath Day! A group of New York dentists established this holiday to bring greater awareness to the fact that fresh breath improves your overall health and wellness. With summer gatherings in full swing there are many opportunities to network, it’s the perfect time to be sure your breath isn’t offensive.

We all know morning breath is un-kissable even though you brushed the night before. Have you ever wondered why? While you sleep, your mouth dries out creating an ideal environment for bacteria to grow. Yuck! However, did you know that drinks like sodas, tea, coffee and alcohol also create a similar dry mouth? Another leading cause of bad breath is odorous foods. We all are occasionally guilty of that embarrassing garlic or onion breath. Well before you swear off onions and coffee, you should know there are several simple ways to freshen your breath throughout the day.

Brush Those Pearly Whites

Brushing your teeth twice a day is a no- brainer, right? Obviously one of the easiest ways to combat bad breath is to keep up on good hygiene. But the toothpaste you choose can make a difference. Pick a toothpaste with stannous fluoride. Stannous fluoride is a well-studied antimicrobial agent that fights plaque, gingivitis, and kills germs that cause bad breath.

Don’t Skip the Floss

Is that a piece of kale stuck in between your teeth? Leaving food between your teeth, even if it isn’t noticeable promotes bad breath. Flossing removes lingering food particles preventing plaque buildup and it improves gum health.

Get Down and Dirty with a Tongue Scraper

Your tongue is the first line of immune defense. It has nooks and crannies, which means it’s a prime spot for bacteria to hide. Scraping those smelly germs away prevents your body from reabsorbing the toxins and boosts your overall immune function. There are many tongue scrapers on the market and they are super cheap. Get one and try it, you will be amazed!

Wet Your Whistle

Drinking water flushes out food particles that remain in the mouth after meals. It also stimulates saliva production and generally makes your mouth a cleaner, less attractive place for bacteria to grow.

Chew on This

Chewing tricks your body into thinking that it is getting a meal. In preparation for this meal, your body will naturally produce more saliva. Try chewing on cloves, fennel seeds, or a pinch of mint leaves. Sugar free chewing gum, or breath mints or lozenges, will also stimulate salivary flow.

In a Pinch Cover It Up

That familiar parsley garnish isn’t just for looks. Apparently, parsley has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. So when dining out eat that pinch of parsley to clean your palette after your meal. Similarly, yogurt and celery also work.

Rinse That Mouth Out – Not with Soap

Certain foods and drinks release compounds into your bloodstream that release odors when you exhale. So, if you don’t want to avoid your morning latte, or that Philly Cheese steak sandwich you can still freshen your breath by rinsing with plain water afterwards. A good swish or two of water helps to re-balance your mouth’s pH levels.

Ah! Now isn’t that better? There is nothing like a breath of fresh air, or shall I say, fresh breath! Help promote National Fresh Breath Day by being a Fresh Breath Advocate and handout sugarless chewing gum or floss to everyone you see next week!