The surefire way to maintain fresh breath.
The date’s going brilliantly. She compliments your fragrance, she loves your choice of bar, conversation’s flowing like gravy at Christmas lunch. You lean in for a kiss . . . but your breath reeks like Pepe Le Pew’s backside. And just like that, all your good work goes up in a puff of halitosis. Avoid the embarrassment with Men’s Style’s simple guide to fresh breath.
Brush and floss
Let’s start with the basics: fresh breath starts with a clean mouth. Don’t just brush and floss five minutes before your date like a lazy student cramming for an exam — wash and scrape bacteria off your teeth every day to create a healthier environment in your mouth, and avoid that noxious pong on date night.
And don’t just brush your teeth . . .
Your tongue is ground zero for bad breath so brush away that bacteria with a specially made scraper or the built-in cleaners now found on the back of most toothbrushes. Mouthwash also kills those germs feasting on food particles in your mouth — but steer clear of alcoholic rinses, which dry out your gob.
Start the day right
A moist mouth is a fresh one, so get the saliva flowing first thing by actually eating breakfast, then drinking plenty of water throughout the day. We’ve all been stuck at the office water cooler with that bloke with chronic coffee breath, so cut out dehydrating caffeine if you can.
Pick the right dish
You’re staring at the menu and wondering what’ll hold you in good stead for a pash at the end of the night. Put a line through garlic, onions, fish and dairy right away. Bread, too — bacteria love starchy foods. Any dish heavy on veggies, on the other hand, will make your mouth less acidic — plus, crunchy foods scrape away plaque like a natural toothbrush. For desert, sugar is a chief cause of dry mouth, but dark chocolate contains antioxidants that can actually fight bad breath.
A nice glass of Shiraz might calm the nerves and set the mood, but red wine is another source of dry mouth — so if you’re opening a bottle, drink plenty of water. Sugary drinks like juice and Coke aren’t doing you any favours, and again, coffee is a killer. If you’re enjoying a tipple, gin and vodka don’t leave a trace.
Gum and mints
Sugarless, of course. Activates the saliva and provides a burst of minty freshness in time for that romantic end-of-date moment.