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National Fresh Breath Week – 7 to 13 February

Fresh Breath Week 2016Although bad breath is rarely the sign of a serious illness, it can cripple self-confidence, romance, relationships; even career prospects. No one wants to get close to someone with stinky breath, however much you love or value them. However, they are not always easy to avoid – up to 90% of people experience halitosis at some point and about one in four have a chronic problem.

In most cases bad breath can be prevented with an effective at-home oral care routine. This national Fresh Breath Week (7 to 13 February) IVOhealth’s oral hygiene expert Dirna Grobbelaar shares her top tips so you will love to smile.

About 80 to 90% of bad breath comes from poor oral hygiene. “Brushing correctly, cleaning the tongue and interdental cleaning are key for fresh breath confidence that comes from a super-clean mouth,” says Grobbelaar.

When plaque and food debris break down in the mouth they release foul odours, cause irritation and disease. An effective daily oral care routine should remove this bacteria from the teeth, gums and tongue.

Brushing seems elementary but not everyone does it right. “Brushing correctly means two minutes, twice a day. Use a soft brush and fluoride toothpaste and slightly angle the brush to reach just under the gum line as well as the tooth surface.”

Over a third of South Africans admit they never floss. “The mouth isn’t clean until it’s clean in-between,” says Grobbelaar. ”If floss is not your style choose an alternative. Sunstar GUM has the widest range of interdental tools in South Africa, with everything from tiny brushes and floss handles to high-tech toothpicks with built-in fluoride.”

The tongue can be another hiding place for the baddies that cause bad breath. Gently scrape the tongue on a daily basis then gargle with alcohol-free mouthwash for extra fresh-breath confidence.

Grobbelaar recommends a professional cleaning with your oral hygienist every six months and an annual check-up with the dentist.

For more expert oral care tips and advice visit or speak to your dental professional.

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