We all remember our first kiss—it was completely exhilarating, probably awkward, and may have involved braces. But kissing is an age-old practice with significance that extends far beyond just romance. The act of kissing has many meanings and takes many forms, from a hello kiss to a kiss goodbye. No matter which type of kiss you prefer, International Kissing Day on July 6 is the perfect time of year to celebrate this simple but powerful gesture.
- It’s a full face workout
A simple pucker kiss only involves two muscles. Who needs the gym when a make-out session will get our hearts racing and our muscles working?
- Kissing makes us happy and relieves stress
Kissing serves as a natural relaxer that makes us feel happy and at peace. By stimulating our brain to release feel-good chemicals, kissing makes us feel both calm and excited at the same time. Had a stressful day? Kiss someone!
- Kissing crosses language and cultural boundaries
Kissing is a cross-cultural form of communication that means the same things in every country—regardless of language, ethnicity, or religion. By kissing, you can communicate complex emotions without having to exchange any words with your kissing partner.
When you are in the personal space of your friend or partner bad breath can be really off putting.
Mouth odour ( bad breath or halitosis) is a social and health concern. Bad breath may be due to the food we eat, poor oral hygiene, gum disease or an underlying medical condition. It’s not always easy to tell if you have bad breath. Other people may notice it first, but could feel uncomfortable telling you. It takes great courage of a friend or partner to tell you that they are worried by your bad breath.
Are you comfortable and confident that you will not embarrass yourself on 6 July.
We are here to help!
If you have any concerns, please read on and contact us for advice.
Bad breath is a common problem that can affect anyone at any age.
About one in four people are thought to have bad breath (halitosis) on a regular basis.
What causes bad breath?
Bad breath can be the result of numerous things, but it’s usually caused by poor oral hygiene. If bacteria builds up in your mouth, it can cause your breath to smell.
Bacteria break down pieces of food in the mouth, releasing unpleasant-smelling gas. Any food trapped in your teeth will be broken down by bacteria, causing bad breath.
Persistent bad breath can sometimes be a sign of gum disease.
Occasionally, bad breath can occur following an infection or illness, or as a result of taking certain types of medication.
Treatment for bad breath (halitosis) will depend on its cause.
Usually, the most effective treatment is improving your dental hygiene. As part of your daily routine, you should:
- Brush your teeth and gums.
- Floss between your teeth.
- Clean your tongue.
Cleaning your teeth
Your dentist will probably recommend that you brush your teeth at least twice a day using fluoride toothpaste.
Here are some tips on how to brush your teeth and keep your mouth healthy:
- Choose a small or medium-sized toothbrush with soft, multi-tufted synthetic bristles.
- Replace your toothbrush every three to four months.
- Brush your teeth for at least two minutes. Keep a toothbrush at work or school so you can brush your teeth after lunch.
- Brush all areas of your teeth, paying particular attention to where your teeth and gums meet.
- Your dentist or oral hygienist may recommend using a special single-tufted brush for specific problem areas of your mouth.
- Use a separate toothbrush or a tongue scraper to lightly brush your tongue. Some toothbrushes have a tongue cleaner on the back of the brush head.
- Use dental floss to clean between your teeth and remove trapped food that could cause tooth decay. Brushing on its own only cleans about 60% of the tooth’s surface.
- Your dentist may recommend that you rinse your mouth daily using an anti-bacterial or anti-odour mouthwash. This shouldn’t replace brushing, but can be included as part of your daily routine.
- To help prevent tooth erosion, avoid brushing your teeth for 30 minutes after drinking an acidic drink, such as fruit juice, or eating acidic fruit, such as oranges.
If you wear dentures, you should take them out at night to give your mouth a chance to rest. Clean your dentures thoroughly before putting them in the next morning. Follow the advice outlined below.
- Don’t use toothpaste to clean your dentures, as it can scratch the surface and cause stains.
- Clean your dentures thoroughly using soap and lukewarm water, denture cream or a denture-cleaning tablet.
- Use a separate toothbrush to clean your dentures.
If you follow this routine, your dentures should stay clean and fresh. It will also help prevent the build-up of plaque, which can cause bad breath.
Fresh breath tips
- Eat a healthy, balanced dietand avoid eating strongly flavoured or spicy food.
- Cut down on sugary food and drink, as it can increase the amount of bacteria in your mouth.
- Reduce your alcohol
- Stop smoking.
- Cut down on coffee.
- Drink plenty of waterto help prevent your mouth becoming dry.
- Chew sugar-free gum after eating, to stimulate the flow of saliva. This will help clean away any remaining food particles.
Make sure you visit your dentist for regular check-ups. Having regular dental care will ensure that any plaque is removed from your teeth, particularly in areas that are difficult to reach.
Your dentist can recommend the best way to clean your teeth and gums, and point out areas you might be missing. They can also identify any signs of gum disease and ensure early treatment.
If your bad breath is caused by a gastrointestinal problem, such as an H. pylori infection or gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), you may be referred to a gastroenterologist.
Your recommended treatment will depend on the specific gastrointestinal condition that you have. For example, if you have a stomach ulcer, you may need a combination of two or three different antibiotics and a proton pump inhibitor (PPI). This is known as eradicaton therapy.
Treating and preventing bad breath
Improving oral hygiene is usually enough to cure bad breath and prevent it happening again.
Your dentist can advise you about ways to improve your oral health and will recommend:
- regularly brushing your teeth and gums
- flossing between your teeth
- keeping your tongue clean
Read more about treating and preventing bad breath.
When to see your GP
If you still have bad breath after making changes to your dental hygiene, see your GP. There may be a medical cause that needs investigating.
Don’t try to hide the smell of your breath before visiting your dentist or GP, because it will make it more difficult for them to find out what’s causing the problem.
Do I have bad breath?
It’s not always easy to tell if you have bad breath. Other people may notice it first, but could feel uncomfortable telling you. It takes great courage of a friend or partner to tell you that they are worried by your bad breath.
A simple test to find out whether you have bad breath is to lick the inside of your wrist with the back of your tongue and wait for a few seconds until the saliva dries. If your wrist smells unpleasant, it’s likely your breath does too.