On your wedding day you’ll be meeting and greeting a lot of people ‐‐ you don’t want to be remembered as the couple with the bad breath! Here are a few tips from James Goolnik of the Bow Lane Dental Group, for what to do if you’re worried that your breath isn’t as fragrant as it could be.
Dental health isn’t just about appearance. You’ll want to smell nice as well as having an attractive smile…
What causes bad breath?
Bad breath or halitosis is very common and can be easily dealt with. Usually, the person with it is unaware that they have it. Ninety per cent of bad breath comes from the mouth, where bacteria can produce gases which smell like rotten eggs. These bacteria hide in the areas that you miss when you clean your teeth and also on the back of your tongue.
You can also get transient bad breath from diet (eg from eating garlic or onions). Most dietary causes can be masked by mouthwashes or mints. Smoking is another culprit. By drying your mouth it makes the smells worse and also causes a build‐up of tar and nicotine inside your mouth.
Bad breath tests
It is almost impossible to smell your own bad breath. So to find out if you have it, you can either ask a friend or member of your family, or you can try two simple tests. First take a piece of unwaxed, unflavoured floss and floss between one of your back teeth, wait 30 seconds and then smell it. Does it smell bad? Secondly, by licking your wrist, wait and then smell it. Does it smell bad?
Banishing bad breath
The first thing you can do to get rid of bad breath is to brush and floss correctly to remove the bacteria that are producing the gases. You can also clean your tongue using your toothbrush or a special scraper.
Mouthwashes that contain chlorine dioxide break down the gases that cause bad breath. It’s best to use these mouthwashes just before you go to sleep and make sure you gargle for at least 30 seconds to get to all the parts of your mouth. Don’t waste your money on normal mouthwashes, some of which contain alcohol which merely dries the mouth making the smells worse.
If these simple remedies don’t work, you should see your dentist who can investigate your mouth, diagnose the cause of bad breath and show you ways of treating it. If gum disease is the cause then the pockets between the teeth and gums can be professionally cleaned.