A survey conducted by Philips Sonicare found that oral hygiene is easier in theory than in practice. It also determined that bad breath is the most common turn-off on a first date.
Nearly 90 percent of respondents said that halitosis will throw a date’s chances of success out the window, even more than yellow teeth, baldness or acne. Pimples, though much more apparent from afar, are four and a half times less likely to put you off your game on a first date.
Furthermore, the survey determined that less than half of Americans brush their teeth for the two full minutes recommended by the American Dental Association. If you don’t brush vigorously and often, in other words, don’t be surprised when you date disappears while you’re in the bathroom.
But what if you do brush for two minutes twice a day and you still have persistent halitosis? The cause could be any number of things, including gingivitis, tonsil stones, post-nasal drip, smoking or eating rich foods. Dry mouth is an especially common source of bad breath on a date, since it may be caused by nerves and anxiety.
The solution, then, is to continue a regular brushing regimen and to consider adding a specialty breath freshener to it, particularly one that moistens the mouth and deactivates odor molecules.