Avoiding The Horror of Holiday Halitosis

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Tis the season to eat like someone who was just rescued from a desert island. Office parties, holiday buffets, family gatherings and enough sandwiches made from leftover turkey to choke a reindeer.

But the holidays also mean lots of socializing, so how can you keep your breath smelling fresh even though your social calendar and you’re your eating habits have become joined at the hip. Dr. Harold Katz says one of the keys is to avoid eating certain holiday dishes that can cause breath bad enough to strip the varnish off a foot locker.

Sacrificing certain holiday dishes in order to keep your breath fresh may seem a bit extreme, but would you rather eat hearty and stand alone in the corner until January, or make a few adjustments and have a real shot at that perfect New Year’s kiss?

“The fact is that brushing your teeth and using some mouthwash to eliminate breath odors is a great start, but the effects of that regimen pretty much wear off before you even make it to lunch,” Dr. Katz said. “Of course you should brush your teeth and floss on a daily basis, but that’s not enough to keep your breath fresh all day. Food is just one of the many variables that can cause bad breath, but watching what you eat is a good place to start.”

Dr. Katz said the five worst holiday foods that prevent your breath from staying fresh include:
• Candy Canes
• Cranberry sauce
• Candied Yams
• Mashed Potatoes (if they have butter and sour cream!)
• Egg Nog (the worst holiday food for your breath!)

“These are foods that combine the two worst elements for your breath – dairy and sugar,” he said. “Contrary to the myths about bad breath out there, bad breath does not come from your stomach – it comes from the back of your throat and tongue. Dairy foods and sugars promote the creation of bacteria that causes bad breath. So, if you want your mistletoe moments to last longer than the last cup of eggnog in the punch bowl, avoid the nog and pucker up.”


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