If you want that hot chick to smile at you, make sure your breath is minty fresh. A survey conducted by the British Dental Association in England, revealed how bad breath was rated the most unattractive feature in a person, right after body odour. Halitosis or bad breath afflicts more than 90 million people worldwide, so, you aren't alone, my friend.
It's caused by bacteria from foods that group together, attaching themselves to your teeth, leading to plaque build-up. The millions of filaments on your tongue trap tiny food particles, which eventually ferment and emit odour. Interestingly, some of the common chemical compounds detected in bad breath include hydrogen sulphide (smells like rotten eggs), cadaverine (smells like corpses) and Isovaleric acid (smells like sweaty feet). Research indicates that people recoil from it because the brain recognizes it as a potential source of infection and forces the body to move away from it.
Here are five simple steps to beat bad breath:
1 Stick to the routine: The combination of brushing-flossing-mouthwashing is deadly for bad breath. Merely brushing twice a day isn't enough since bacteria remains hidden in inaccessible areas between your teeth. Mouthwash works because it can reach hidden crannies that store food particles. Ideally, you should brush twice a day and use a mouthwash that provides 12-hour protection. Clean your tongue with your toothbrush and floss regularly.
2 chew that gum: Saliva is a potent weapon to fight bad breath. When you go to sleep or suffer from dry mouth, there is a slowdown in saliva production. So, food particles end up lingering on the tongue longer, emitting a foul odour. If you chew gum during the day, you stimulate saliva production and wash away the particles. Cinnamon-flavoured gum works best.
3 replenish your fluids: A drop in water levels creates a problem. Make sure you drink at least two litres of water daily.
4 avoid spicy pakodas: Avoid eating garlic and spicy snacks during lunch hour. These are absorbed into the body, and release bad odour through the lungs when you breathe. Cigarettes, coffee, onions, alcohol and foods rich in carbohydrates (rice, pasta and sugar) add to the problem. Eating a portion of parsely with your meals works wonders to fight bad breath.
5 take a trip to the loo: Regular bowel movement eliminates body waste from your gut, cutting down on bad breath. Eating fibre-rich foods such as green leafy vegetables, beans, radish, okra and cucumber also helps tremendously.