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It’s nearing the festive season, and where parties and socialising are part of the festivities. The last thing anyone would want during these festivities is Halitosis. This is a crucial time to ensure that you have the halitosis under control. Here are a few tips to keep your breath fresh and halitosis free this season (and all year round).
There is a saying that goes “if you are ever in doubt, just go back to the basics”. In oral care, that would be brushing, rinsing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day. Try to brush your teeth for at least a minute long each session. After brushing your teeth, use an alcohol free mouth wash and make sure to swish it all around your mouth, gargle and then spit out. Flossing is the next important step. Make sure to floss between each tooth, but be gentle, you do not want to damage your gums. Remember that the bad breath bacteria feed of any proteins, and blood has plenty. It is also important to keep the tongue clean and free of germs. Use your toothbrush to brush the surface of the tongue, or use a tongue scraper. This will remove any germs and bacteria from your tongue.
Now that the basics are taken care of. Let’s move onto the foods and beverages that you can eat that will benefit your teeth and breath, and the ones that are big No No’s, and that should be avoided.
Let’s start with the food and beverages that should be avoided this festive season.
Beverages that stain teeth
Having a great smile is not enough anymore. If you smile and then flash some teeth and they are yellow, it diminishes the dazzle of your smile. To help keep your teeth as white as possible, avoid dark drinks like tea, coffee, coca cola, wine and sports drinks. It is best to try and avoid these dark drinks throughout the year and not only over the festive season. Dark drinks penetrate deep into the dentin of your teeth, and it is no easy task removing the discoloration.
Beverages that cause halitosis
The two biggest culprits to avoid are coffee and any alcohol. Coffee will neutralise the acid in your stomach, which will in turn push the reinforcement gastric juice up near your tongue, and believe me, they don’t belong anywhere near a person’s tongue.
Alcohol on the other hand dries out the mouth. A dry mouth is unfortunately one of the leading causes for halitosis. A dry mouth can, over time, lead to gum disease and tooth decay. Excessive use of alcohol will put your mouth at risk for mouth cancer.
Garlic, Onions and Horseradish
Garlic, onions and horseradish leave your breath smelling less than fresh, and the smell usually lasts for days on end. So to avoid any embarrassing intimate moments, please avoid these three culprits as best you can.
Red meat, seeds and mielies
The only reason to try and avoid these three foods, are the fact that they all tend to stick between your teeth after having eaten them. The problem here is that when you talk or smile at someone afterward, you will have chunks of meat, seeds and mielie pips smiling at the person too.
All sugary things
These include sweets, candies, cakes, and even Citrus fruit juices. Sugar can cause cavities if left on the tooth’s surface too long. Please try to brush your teeth after you have had a sugary treat. Same applies for fruit juices, but they are a bit worse. Citrus Fruit juices contain acid, which eats away at the tooth’s enamel, which will in time cause tooth decay.
Phew, now we can get to the foods and drinks that you are allowed to eat.
Ok ladies, I think this is especially just for us……
Dark chocolate contains antioxidants that boost the immune system and it also enhances the whiteness of our teeth. Dark chocolate has theobromine, which helps to harden the enamel of teeth. Just be careful though, for those of us with some extra meat on our bones, we need to limit our intake.
Apples and pears
These are great for your teeth in a two ways. Firstly their crispy texture helps to keep gums healthy, but also prevents periodontal disease and the loss of teeth. Secondly, they contain high volumes of water, thus helping to keep that dry mouth at bay.
Cheeses and yoghurts
All dairy products contain calcium which helps to maintain strong healthy teeth. But did you know that cheese increases the pH balance in your mouth, and this prevents your teeth from erosion and discoloration.
Yoghurt (plain only) has high volumes of good bacteria which fight off the bad bacteria which causes halitosis. This is due to the probiotics in yoghurt which reduces levels of hydrogen sulphide in the mouth (halitosis causing agent). The yoghurt will neutralise that foul odour all day long.
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