Tips from the expert for fresh breath and great looking teeth this Festive time… wloyallty poster_page3editedhether it’s extra rich food, office drinks or pre-party exercise, you may be unaware of how lifestyle changes during the festive season can impact bad breath. Here dentist Luke Thorley gives you the lowdown and the tricks of the trade on what to watch out for…

 

EATING:

We’re all tempted to eat more of the things that we shouldn’t over Christmas and often don’t realise the effect that constant grazing can have on our breath. If you want to stay fresh breath confident throughout the party season, try these top tips:

  • Beat the buffet: Be aware that Christmas party favourites like walnuts, brazil nuts and smoked salmon and cream cheese canapés can contribute to bad breath, as they provide a source of sulphur-producing bacteria which can cause oral odour. Other foods with sulphur-producing bacteria include: dairy, meat, fish, egg, nuts and beans, so mix it up when you’re piling up your plate!
  • Pass the parsley: Christmas platters are filled with parsley and mint, so don’t leave them on the buffet table! Chew on a fresh sprig of parsley, as the chlorophyll in these green plants are a known breath deodoriser and neutralise odours
  • Acid Attack: Acids make bacteria that cause bad breath reproduce much faster. To slow it down, reduce the amount of acidic foods or beverages you’re eating and drinking, such as tomato and citrus juices
  • Vegetate on vegetables: Head for the crudités! Snacks of crispy, fresh fruits and vegetables are natural cleansers and help clean plaque off your teeth, while stepping up your saliva flow to help wash away bacteria from teeth, tongue and gums that can cause bad breath
  • Re-think your mint: Get those salivary glands, as well as the dance moves, flowing! Chewing is great, as it stimulates the salivary glands to produce more saliva that help to combat negative bacteria that lead to bad breath. However, mints/gum that contain sugar will only feed the bacteria creating even more offensive, sulphur compounds, so double check the ingredients in your gum first. Strong or fruit flavourings in most mints and gum only mask your bad breath. Use a sugar-free chewing gum that contains zinc, fluoride and Xylitol to give you fresh breath confidence

DRINKING:

Increased alcohol consumption over Christmas is inevitable and it can also lead to bad breath. Alcohol is a diuretic which means it dries up the saliva in your mouth that is needed to break down and rinse away bacteria. If you’re looking to have a tipple or two during Christmas, try to:

  • Mix it up: Drinking can change the normal oral environment and cause a reduction in the flow of saliva and reduce its effectiveness in controlling the effect of the bad bacteria. Combining alcohol with watery mixers help wash away food particles and bacteria
  • Equal measures: With every unit of alcohol you consume, keep your mouth hydrated and have a glass of water to counteract your dry mouth (this will reduce the sore head in the morning too!)
  • Improve your morning routine: Use a professional oral rinse with active ingredients Zinc acetate and Chlorhexidine diacetate that neutralises and helps prevents the formation of the Volatile Sulphur Compounds that cause bad breath. Rinse in the morning with a mouth wash designed to last for 12 hours to see you through the working day and onto the party!

LIFESTYLE:

Excessive exercise during the festive season in a last attempt to squeeze into party-wear, coupled with rushing around between present buying and making it to the school nativity play, can all have an impact on your breath. Make sure you adopt these tips below to stay fresh breath confident:

  • Hydrate: Swap that egg nog latte for a bottle of water when you’re Christmas shopping  and increase your H2O intake during exercise, as water dilutes the chemicals causing bad breath
  • Postpone your post-workout shake: A high protein diet forces the body to burn fat for energy. In doing so this can have a negative effect on your breath, as the body cannot process the acetone molecule, which is instead mostly released through the breath
  • Up your oral game: Between visits to the in-laws and food shopping for a turkey, don’t forget to do the oral basics. Brushing and flossing teeth at least twice a day can help keep the mouth fresh and clean all day long. Always keep mouth wash handy, use a professional oral rinse with active ingredients zinc and chlorhexidine to give you protection against bad breath for 12 hours. Using a good mouth wash together with improving oral hygiene can be more effective at reducing oral malodour

‘LET ME TAKE A SELFIE’:

We all want a perfect selfie during party season. To achieve pearly white teeth, take into account these tips:

  • Go chew: Abrasive foods, such as apples help scrub the surface of teeth as people chew and actively work to clean and protect your teeth. The chewing action removes other food particles, prevents plaque build-up and massage the gums too, stimulating blood flow that keeps them healthy
  • Go dark: Chocolate with a high cocoa content contains theobromine, a bitter powder which helps harden the enamel surface of teeth and in turn helps to prevent staining, as a weak outer coating on the teeth makes them more susceptible to discolouration
  • Go green: Green tea is a great natural teeth whitener, it contains tannins which prevent staining because they stop bacteria sticking to the teeth and this means it can also prevent bad breath
  • Go strawberry mad: Not only to be reserved for Wimbledon, these fruits contain malic acid, an enzyme that actually cleans stains off the teeth