When you're up close and personal, nothing can make you more self-conscious than breath that's less than fresh. Reid Winick, a holistic dentist from New York, has the solution. "Breath is my thing," he says. "We now know only a low percentage of bad breath is caused by stomach gases or intestinal disorders. It comes from VSCs."
VSCs are Volatile Sulfur Compounds derived from bacterial plaque that thrives in the mucus of your mouth. When this bacteria interacts with dead tissue cells that are constantly being exfoliated inside the mouth, the result is stale breath. This situation is exacerbated by leftover food particles and gum infection.
What's the solution? First, find a good, antimicrobial toothpaste. Next, brush or scrape your tongue daily to get rid of reactive bacteria. Then, rinse out your mouth with an herbal-based mouthwash with ingredients that include tea tree oil, eucalyptus or goldenseal.
With proper hygiene, a healthy diet and a hands-on cleansing regimen, you'll give yourself — and everyone around you — something to smile about.