Get breath ready for International Kissing Day
Practise your pucker, because on July 6 the world will officially celebrate International Kissing Day. From a peck to a passionate snog, kissing is recognised in pretty much every culture as a greeting and a sign of affection.
While we all love a good kiss, there's nothing worse than getting caught off-guard by bad breath - whether it's you or your kissing partner who's suffering from it!
Bad breath is a result of unfriendly bacteria in the mouth, and some people just happen to be more prone to it than others.
“These organisms are not viruses or hostile germs, nor are they infectious, but they do produce nasty smelling sulphur which is the root cause of breath odour," Dr Harold Katz, dentist, bacteriologist and founder of The Breath Company oral care products, explained.
With roughly one in four people suffering from halitosis (that's the official name for bad breath) on a regular basis, the expert has put some tips together so you can relax and enjoy International Kissing Day without any awkward moments.
Brush and floss
You should be doing this every day anyway, but are you doing it right? Pick a toothpaste without sodium lauryl sulphate, a soapy detergent that creates the foam. The additive has recently been linked to canker sores - painful white blisters in the mouth. No one wants that! Follow your brushing and flossing up with some mouthwash for added freshness - but pick one without alcohol, as these versions irritate your mouth.
Keeping hydrated is key for everything from staying alert to having clear skin, but did you know water can also prevent bad breath? Halitosis hits hard when your mouth is dry, so get on the H2O!
If you have a hot date on International Kissing Day, prep by eating the right foods. Avoid the classic culprits like onion, garlic and curry for at least 24 hours before the date and also stay away from acidic foods like pineapple, tomato and citrus. They all cause bacteria to spread more rapidly. Freshening up with a mint is fine, but go for ones without sugar - these just feed bacteria - and avoid artificial sweeteners too. Hard lozenges that you suck are especially good for producing saliva, which keeps your mouth hydrated.
Smoking is terrible for your health anyway but it will also do your breath zero favours. Not only will the smell of the cigarette cling to you, smoking also dries out your mouth. So quit, and you might get a kiss!