Whether or not you have some special to smooch this month (it being the so-called month of love), you can check how your breath scores in the Sunstar GUM Kiss-O-Meter challenge. Although bad breath affects around 90% of people at some point, most don’t realise that they have a problem. And you can’t rely on your bestie to break the bad news – two-thirds of people said they wouldn’t tell a friend that their breath smelt and a third wouldn’t even tell their spouse!
Experts say that the most common cause of bad breath is inadequate oral care. “If plaque and food debris are not physically removed – by correctly brushing, flossing and rinsing – they break down in the mouth, releasing bad odours, as well as causing irritation and disease,” says Dirna Grobbelaar, IVOhealth’s oral hygiene advisor.
While most people brush their teeth regularly, flossing is often overlooked; 35% of people admitted they “never” floss. “The mouth is not clean until it’s clean in-between,” says Grobbelaar. “If you are in doubt, take the test – pull a length of floss between the teeth and smell it!”
Grobbelaar suggests that if you find flossing awkward or too time-consuming, find an interdental tool that suits your mouth and lifestyle. “There are many options these days, from tiny interdental brushes and floss handles to high-tech toothpicks with built-in fluoride. Look for Sunstar GUM products in pharmacies and dental practices; they have the widest range of interdental tools in South Africa.”
“Brushing correctly twice a day, cleaning the tongue and interdental cleaning is the key to the fresh breath confidence that comes from a super-clean mouth,” says Grobbelaar.
To get your breath rating, take the Sunstar GUM Kiss-O-Meter challenge here this February. For each person taking the challenge, Sunstar GUM will donate a Razzle Dazzle toothbrush to The ToothFairies volunteering with the Friends of the Children’s Hospital (FOCHA) at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Cape Town.
For expert oral care advice, speak to your dentist or oral hygienist.