Hey woody!
I’ve got a really embarrassing problem: Bad breath. I’m talking paint-peeling breath. Nothing works. I brush my teeth, floss, use mouthwashes, and pop Altoids constantly and people still put clothespins on their noses when I talk. You can imagine what it’s doing to my sex life. Help!
— Wilter
Dear Wilter:
The worst part of having bad breath is that most people don’t know they have it. You can’t tell by breathing into your cupped hands because the body gets used to its own odors. The only way you can tell is if your partner’s teeth duck every time you lean in for a kiss.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to improve your breath, but first some background. Your breath smells like the business end of a donkey because you’re not getting rid of the food particles stuck in your teeth and gums. Those particles produce odor-causing Volatile Sulfur Compounds (VSC). Assuming your brushing and flossing regularly, here’s what you need to do:
* Forget The Old Mouthwashes. Listerine? Scope? Please. Mouthwashes simply mask the odor. Putting a different dress on the same wh@re doesn’t make her prettier. Most older mouthwashes contain alcohol, which dries your mouth and makes your breath even worse than it started out.
* Try The New Mouthwashes. There are special mouthwashes specifically developed to neutralize VCS. Though you can buy some at drug stores (my favorite: Smart Mouth), most are sold only through dentists or at sites like sure they contain chlorine dioxide, zinc ion or sodium chlorite. Mouthwashes can’t penetrate through the plaque on your gums, teeth and tongue so you gotta brush, scrape and floss to break up the plaque and give the rinse a fighting chance. Otherwise, you’ll keep setting trees on fire every time you open your mouth.
Also, do what those nasty boys in the Treasure Island adult videos do when they squirt man-rinse in their mouths—gargle. As you gargle, make an “aaaaahh” sound. This will extend your tongue outward, letting the mouthwash cover the back of the tongue where most of the bad breath producing VSCs like to squat.
* Scrape Your Tongue. Your tongue is like a shag carpet—it traps millions of microscopic food particles and bacteria. So brush your tongue with a toothbrush and follow it up with a tongue scraper. Look the other way, too. You won’t believe what’ll come off it.
* Suck On Something Hard. Sorry, d!cks don’t count. While thinking about penises stimulates the flow of saliva, sucking on them doesn’t. Saliva contains antiseptics and enzymes that kill bacteria, so the equation’s pretty simple: More saliva = fewer bacteria = better breath. Best bet? Hard candy. Altoids won’t work because they don’t produce more saliva. BTW, if you’re wondering why your breath is so bad in the morning, it’s because sleep dramatically slows down saliva production.
* Chew Gum Like A Cow. It’s the best way to produce saliva. Epic gum has the heaviest concentration of xylitol, a sugar substitute known for saliva production. Try Big Red, too. Recent studies show cinnamon has an ingredient that decreases bacteria in your mouth.
* Drink More Water. You remember ‘water,’ don’t you? It’s a mixer. You have it with Whiskey. Oh, and it also keeps bacteria in check.
* Get A Water Pick. Brushing, flossing and gargling can’t get everything out, so use a water pick to get the rest.
Follow my instructions and you won’t have men seeing the words come out of you. Just remember that you’ve got to do everything I recommended daily or you’ll be right back knocking bowling pins into the gutter with a simple exhalation.