Tips to Achieve a Beautiful Valentine’s Day Smile
It could be an “I love you” kiss, a peck on the cheek for a relative, or a quick kiss goodbye. No matter which one it is, a kiss should always be special.
Given that it is Valentine’s Day, Passion Family Dental North Lakes thought to share some dental tips that might make for better kisses on the holiday of love.
To start with, if your dental health is blah and not optimal, it reduces the chances that someone will want to kiss you.
Here are the top things you can do to ensure your kissability is at the highest possible level for Valentine’s Day.
Practice good oral hygiene. More than 600 types of bacteria can live in the mouth. Many of these bacteria emit smelly gases as they digest tiny food particles that get stuck between teeth and coat your tongue.
Some of the most harmful of these gases are sulphur compounds, which are formed as proteins are broken down. A good oral hygiene routine, including brushing, flossing, rinsing, tongue cleansing and regular visits to your North Lakes dentist, is an essential first step.
Avoid smoking. The most obvious thing is that cigarette smoke makes the breath smell bad, reducing kissability. But it goes farther than that, as nicotine constricts the blood vessels, which in turn prevents a healthy saliva flow. Without enough saliva, the mouth dries out, and dry mouth is a leading cause of bad breath.
Avoid alcohol. Like smoking, drinking can lead to dry mouth and bad breath.
Watch what you eat. The old saying goes, “you are what you eat.” And if you eat some kinds of food, you’ll end up smelling like them. Onions and garlic are the obvious culprits in bad breath, but acidic and high-fructose foods are also implicated.
Most foods containing sugar and acids increase bacteria production in the mouth, which leads to bad breath. Common seafood such as tuna are also worrisome, and consider limiting coffee and dairy too.
The good news is that some foods help fight bad breath. Here are some of the most common (You can search the Internet for others):
Tea. Studies suggest that unsweetened black or green tea may help fight bad breath. Both of these teas contain antioxidants called polyphenols that help destroy the growth of bacteria that cause bad breath—although green tea contains more.
One study discovered that green tea extracts could fight several kinds of oral bacteria. Polyphenols also reduce those nasty sulphur compounds.
Probiotic yogurt. Studies reveal that eating 6 ounces of unsweetened yogurt every day can reduce the level of odour-causing hydrogen sulphide in your mouth.
The active cultures in yogurt, including Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus, compete with the “bad breath” bacteria in your mouth.
Accumulation of plaque and development of periodontal disease were also reduced by eating yogurt. Eat plain yogurt with active cultures and avoid yogurts with added sugars.
Water. Drink, and often. The majority of odour-causing bacteria thrive in a dry mouth. Drinking water helps wash away food particles and bacteria that otherwise remain in your mouth.
Drinking water also assists in the production of saliva, which is the mouth’s natural cleaning fluid.
Parsley and basil. Remember our good ‘friends’ onions and garlic? They contain about 33 smelly sulphur compounds that linger in your mouth and are absorbed in the bloodstream and expelled when you exhale.
Parsley and basil help kick garlic breath. The polyphenols (compounds that act as antioxidants) in these herbs break down the sulphur compounds in garlic. For the highest level of benefit, combine garlic and either basil or parsley in the same dish (pesto is a great example of this).
It may also be possible to take advantage of the garlic-breath-fighting benefits of polyphenols by consuming them in dishes separate from the garlic, as long as they are consumed during the same meal. Mint is also a good choice along these lines.
Apples and spinach. While the old saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”, may not be medically accurate, apples are your friend in fighting bad breath, particularly bad breath caused by garlic.
If the idea of garlic and apples together doesn’t make your mouth water, follow a garlicky dish with an apple. The polyphenols in apples break down the smelly sulphur compounds. Spinach is another polyphenol-rich food that breaks down stinky sulphur compounds.
Cherries and lettuce. Studies have demonstrated that these foods help eliminate the smell of methyl mercaptan, another smelly gas released by mouth bacteria as they digest the bits of food that stay in your mouth.
Last but definitely not the least, is to get your teeth whitened. The major turn on during a Valentine’s date is a set of perfect, white teeth. Passion Family Dental North Lakes offers teeth whitening treatments for Valentine’s Day!
For more information, click here.
Here’s a short video “Tips for the Perfect Valentine’s Day Smile from your North Lakes Dentist”:
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