It's almost that time of the year again. Red and pink hearts are splattered along the aisles of grocery stores and retail chains, chocolate roses are in plain sight and every email list you've ever subscribed to is filling your inbox with sweethearts and date ideas. Valentine's Day is easily one of the most argued holidays, as some women (and men!) are dreaming of an upcoming romantic evening, and others are hanging up their hat for a low-key night. Whatever your plans may be, there is one thing that could quickly put a damper in things: bad breath.
Ever wonder why Italian cuisine is synonymous with romance? Garlic loaded dishes and carbohydrates are some of the worst foods for your breath! (But, we get it - the wine and dim lighting makes for a lovely evening). It seems that no matter what you do, that garlic always seems to rear its ugly head and cause bad breath once again. Are you sick of chewing on gum and popping breath mints already? You may actually be using products that aren't helping to freshen your breath, and they can actually be making it worse. Here are a few things to keep in mind when picking out your V-Day breath freshener:
Get the saliva flowing
We all get bad breath once in a while, but keeping the mouth moist will help start to reduce it quickly. Why, you ask? A lot of times our bad breath is caused by food that gets stuck in our teeth and in the crevices in our mouths, and if your dry mouth is preventing these particles from naturally rinsing away, they are just going to create a stench that sticks around. Gum should create an increase in saliva flow to get rid of bacteria that accumulates in the mouth.
Look for natural ingredients
A tropical mango mint gum sure tastes delicious, but if it's loaded with sugar, it isn't doing anything but temporarily masking the bad smell. You may be thinking that's what you're looking for, but as soon as the fruity taste dissipates, you're left with the same bad taste in your mouth. Instead, look for a gum with cinnamon oil or mint. Always make sure the gum you are chewing on is sugar free, because sugar simply feeds bacteria in the mouth.
Stop bacteria before it gets worse
While you're waiting for the server to drop your check off and you're preparing to head out for a moonlight walk, you want to make sure that your breath is going to stay fresh long after you ditch that stick of gum. Gums with antimicrobial agents will halt the growth of bacteria and neutralize the sulfur taste that lingers. How's that for a one-two punch?
What else can you do?
If you're in a situation where you find yourself without gum or mints on a date, don't fret. End your date with a hot cup of tea to neutralize the odors in your mouth caused by food. Most restaurants will have an assortment of teas to pick from, and the best one would be a minty tea. However, all teas contain antioxidants that can alleviate bad breath. Research has shown that black tea suppresses the odors that loom in your mouth.
Complement your meal with some water
Whether you're enjoying a romantic night out on the town or a quiet evening in, sipping on water throughout a meal will help avoid bad breath. Not only will it prevent dry mouth, but it flushes away the food particles that are lagging behind.