My first open-mouthed kiss was with a girl called Emma and she was eating a bag of cheese and onion crisps at the time; not the most suitable companion for a snogging session. It was at that time that I realised the importance of oral hygiene – or so I thought. I was brushing regularly, but hated the inconvenience of it. Instead I started to buy extra strong mints, and I would eat a packet a day, as the minty freshness would replace the terrible odour.
Extra strong mints are full of sugar and as eating a lot of sugar leads to gum disease, which in turn leads to bad breath, it wasn’t a very wise decision and reminds me of my Dad who will go to the chemist for medication to take care of his cough and smoke a cigarette on his way over there.
As I got older I started to gargle with mouthwash and I occasionally tried flossing, which consisted of thrashing about in the front of my teeth for a few seconds always worried that I would pull out a filling or two.
Then recently I read the Liver Cleansing Diet by Sandra Cabot. I decided to complete an eight-week liver cleanse, and my food habits have changed radically ever since. I now eat a healthy diet that consists of fruit; raw vegetables, fish and the occasional munch on some chicken. Suddenly, the stench of my breath started to improve.
Then one night as I stood in front of the mirror complaining about my bad breath my girlfriend asked me to floss while she watched. She was in a fit of giggles as she watched me floss my front teeth for about 10-seconds before throwing it into the trash. She then taught me how important it was to spend time cleaning the back of my mouth. This is where the majority of the chewing goes on and where most of the food will get lodged in the crevices in between my gums and teeth. I did as she said and the stench from the floss was unbearable. The following day I did the same and the smell reduced until it dissipated the day after.
I now spend two minutes every morning cleaning my teeth, using a toothbrush, and paying particular attention to my molar region. I then floss diligently, before gargling with mouthwash. I carry floss everywhere with me and always make sure that I floss after I have eaten a meal.
What was once a major irritation for me is now part of my automatic pilot. I no longer have bad breath and I feel more confident when getting closer to people, in particular my partner.
So to recap the changes I have made to my habits that have resulted in the eradication of bad breath.
1. I eat a wide range of raw fruit and vegetables and have removed bad fats, sugar, dairy and most meat from my diet.
2. I floss every morning, every night and after most mealtimes.
3. I brush each morning and each night for two minutes whilst taking a shower.
4. I gargle with mouthwash two or three times per day.
5. I no longer eat extra strong mints!
What habits have you created that have helped you improve your bad breath?
Photo courtesy of Woodleywonderworks cc @ flickr