How to fight halitosis. In other words, bad breath.

Bad breath: there is nothing more embarrassing than getting a dressing down over your halitosis.  Image by NE Studio (via Shutterstock).

Some of us might remember the Listerine adverts featuring Clifford, an animated dragon. Voiced by Geoffrey Palmer (best known for his roles in Butterflies, Hot Metal and The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin), its winsome advertisements used the fairy tale scenario to convey its message. As well as preventing bad breath, it extolled its properties in fighting plaque.

Thirty years on, Listerine has a number of competitors: Corsodyl, Plax, and own brand mouthwashes. One problem with mouthwash is we cannot carry it everywhere we go. Fear not: we at the Smile Specialist Centre have a few handy tips to prevent halitosis.

1. Brush your tongue as well as your teeth

Bad breath can also be caused by bits of food on your tongue. You should be able to get a tongue scraper from most chemists and supermarkets.

2. Always remember to brush your teeth at night

If you don’t brush your teeth at night, that’s up to eight or so hours worth of bacteria from last night’s supper festering in your mouth. Imagine if you did this for several weeks, let alone years.

3. Brush your teeth after eating

When you brush twice a day, it is always important to brush after your breakfast and your supper. This enables you to brush and floss away any bits of cornflakes or toast.

4. Drink plenty of water

Besides combating bad breath, drinking plenty of water enables you to rehydrate and stay focused at work, school or college. Tea, coffee, alcohol and tobacco has a dehydrating effect, so turn on the tap and get your pint glass ready - full of corporation pop.

Smile Specialist Centre, 6th October 2017.