Open your mouth wide as if you want to pronounce “O” and blow or breathe the air in your stomach out, if you probably repeat that about three times, you might smell the odor of your mouth at any particular time.

Bad breath is an enormous barrier to starting any kind of successful relationship with the opposite sex (or anyone at all, for that matter). A public survey by the British Dental Association in England found that bad breath is THE #1 turn-off when it comes to dating… far ahead of stale body odor, corny chat-up lines, and everything else you can think of!

Granted, at some point, we all have bad breath especially if you haven’t opened your mouth for a while. So how do you deal with this world’s #1 turn-off? Here are some tips on how to deal with it, especially before a date:

1. Always brush.

Well, to be frank, there is nothing you can do to permanently eliminate bad breath unless you treat the underlying cause. You must brush your teeth at least two times daily. Some prefer one in the morning before breakfast and one in the evening after dinner. But you may try another variation by brushing after breakfast or probably much later and the other after dinner as well. And make sure you brush your tongue as well, at least once a day.

2. Avoid Coffee.

At least before a date. Coffee has a very strong drying effect on the mouth. Having a dry mouth will rapidly (i.e. in less than 5 or 10 minutes) increase the severity of bad breath. A temporary halt to coffee intake will drastically lessen the problem, even if only for a few hours. And ‘Coffee Breath’? As if ‘normal’ bad breath wasn’t enough, the smell of coffee on the breath (of other people) is very strong, and is almost universally disliked…even by people who are regular coffee drinkers themselves! But if you BOTH drink coffee, he/she’ll have ‘coffee breath’ too, so he/she won’t be overpowered by yours, while your normal bad breath will be (temporarily) masked by it!

3. Eat something.

If you are going on a date, don’t go on empty stomach. Especially if you have taken a nap during the day. The problem in relation to your date is that, while ‘morning breath’ is worse when it is morning breath (because, in morning breath, your saliva glands slow right down when you’re asleep, leaving less saliva to keep your mouth moist), so it can still occur after any prolonged period of not eating.

The solution is simple and probably very obvious: Simply eat something. Something “watery” (like tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelons, etc.) would be even more beneficial as it will have the added benefit of helping keep your mouth moist and, consequently, your bad breath will be significantly (though, again, temporarily) lessened.

4. Chew something.

Similar to the one above. Specially recommend sugarless chewing gum. The benefits are enormous: it keeps your mouth moist and fresh due to the secretion and circulation of Saliva in your mouth, and you are exercising your jaw. The saliva you swallow also helps in the digestive process.

5. Try using cinnamon.

Chewing something like cinnamon may be of greater benefit: not only does it appear to have strong anti-bacterial properties anyway, but it also has a very pleasant and refreshing smell as well.

6. Avoid ALL Kinds of Alcohol.

At least before your date. Even Alcohol-based Mouthwash! Alcohol has a very severe drying effect on your entire body, but most especially on your mouth – far more so than coffee, and with consequently worse results in terms of bad breath. Additionally, a 1991 study by the National Cancer Institute, quoted in the Journal of the American Dental Association, indicated that mouthwash with more than 25% alcohol increases the risk of oral cancers by 50% in users.

As mentioned earlier about coffee, avoid alcohol while ON your date too…UNLESS he/she opts to have a drink as well. So, if you BOTH drink alcohol, her breath will smell like alcohol too, so she won’t be overpowered by yours, while your normal bad breath will be temporarily masked by it. (Obviously, none of that applies if you’re driving, of course!)

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