Going on a first date is nerve-racking, and you may spend hours ahead of time preparing and making sure the night goes smoothly. Before heading out the door, you'll probably spray on some perfume, take a look in the mirror and swish around some mouthwash. According to a survey in the United Kingdom, bad breath is cited as one of the biggest pre-date fears. Which makes sense - wouldn't you be immediately turned off by someone who had bad breath on a date? Don't fret, though - we'll share some tips with you to make sure your breath is minty fresh before and during your big date.
The survey conducted by CB12 in the UK found that body odor topped the list of first date turn-offs with 86 percent of the vote, followed by halitosis at 75 percent.
"It's completely natural for people to get pre-date nerves, especially on a first date when first impressions are so important," top UK dating expert James Preece told the Daily Mail. "Bad breath is clearly causing a huge amount of angst amongst daters, yet thankfully there are products out there which can help."
Before leaving the house on a first date, brushing, flossing and rinsing is key. If you've taken precautionary measures to ensure you don't have bad breath, make sure that you don't do something to counteract these efforts like drink a cup of coffee, smoke a cigarette or eat a potent snack. But the real challenge is maintaining fresh breath throughout your entire date.
Go slow on the alcohol
You may have first date jitters that are causing you to sip a cocktail or glass of wine more quickly than you normally would, but try to take note of how much alcohol you are consuming. Bad breath can be caused by alcohol, so switching sips from wine to water can help keep your mouth fresh throughout the night. Plus, you don't want to end up being a sloppy date at the end of a nice night on the town. Although red wine is healthier and better for your oral health, you may want to opt for white wine or a cocktail that won't end up staining your teeth.
Watch what you eat
Depending on what type of restaurant you are heading to on your first date, you are going to have to make wise decisions regarding the dish you order. While Italian restaurants are staples for a first date, a heaping pile of garlicy, cheesy pasta will quickly cause halitosis. Try to order a dish without pungent ingredients - instead, choose something with fresh lemon and parsley or tons of vegetables. These meals will not wreak as much havoc on the mouth and you won't have to worry about having smelly breath during your date.
Tea not coffee
After the meal, you may be tempted to get coffee with your dessert, but coffee breath can be an immediate turn-off to your date. Instead, order a green tea that will actually freshen your breath. Green tea is great for the overall health of your mouth for many reasons. It contains antioxidants that control bacteria and compounds that help to reduce inflammation in the gums. And, yes, it controls your bad breath! According to research from the University of British Columbia's Faculty of Dentistry, green tea works better than gum and other herbal remedies to combat bad breath.
If you're stressed out about maintaining fresh breath on your first date, you can carry along sugar-free gum that will wash away food particles and bacteria.