Sweeter kisses for Valentine’s Day.

doctor_tipAs a sign of affection, kissing has been around longer than St. Valentine himself. But did you know that kissing originated from the ancient practice of getting acquainted with other humans by sniffing each other?

Does your breath smell kissably fresh? The occasional garlicky meal aside, the number one cause of chronic bad breath is oral plaque, which can build up on your teeth, gums, and even your tongue.

A simple trick to check for bad breath. Try blowing up a balloon and then smelling the air as you let it out. If you don’t like the odor, think about changing your dental habits.

Be a fanatic about plaque removal. Brush your teeth and gums thoroughly at least twice a day and floss at least once. And check your tongue every week or so for whitish residue, which is likely due to accumulated plaque and food debris. Brushing or scraping your tongue can often clear up nagging bad breath.

Banish dry mouth. Nobody wants to kiss a parched mouth. Drinking eight glasses of water a day and chewing sugarless gum between meals keeps saliva flowing, which also helps wash away stinky plaque and food particles.

Get regular dental cleanings. Plaque has a tendency to harden into calculus (also called tartar) that can’t be removed with brushing and flossing. Professional cleanings eliminate this buildup, so it’s important to get one at least once every six months, along with your checkup.

If you’re overdue for a cleaning, want to explore your options for a brighter, healthier smile, or are interested in purchasing a cosmetic or whitening procedure as a Valentine’s Day gift, call us at 314.487.0333.


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