National 12-hour Fresh Breath Day
annually on December 12th
National 12-Hour Fresh Breath Day is about the importance of oral hygiene and its role in keeping breath fresh for long periods of time. Although someone could chew mint-flavored gum for twelve hours straight and have fresh smelling breath, they would probably be masking the underlying factors that lead to bad breath, or halitosis. They may be celebrating the holiday correctly in some sense, but in order to fully celebrate the day, overall oral hygiene must be the focus. The day is not so much about having a minty smelling breath as it is about the absence of bad breath, which really is what fresh breath is about.
In order to know how to get twelve hours of fresh breath, we need to know the problems that lead to bad breath in the first place. Bacteria live in the mouth, and they feed on leftover food particles after you eat, releasing a foul smell. Having a dry mouth can also cause bad breath, as saliva is needed to wash out your mouth. Bad breath can be caused by gum disease, which is precipitated by plaque. Certain foods such as coffee, garlic, and onions can cause bad breath, as can tobacco. Other problems not directly related to the mouth can cause bad breath, such as diabetes, liver or kidney disease, or a sinus condition; if something of this nature seems to be the cause, a healthcare professional should be seen right away.
How to Observe
Celebrate the day by attacking all the problems that lead to bad breath, to ensure twelve hours of fresh breath. First off, make sure to brush twice a day, and to floss to get rid of bacteria between your teeth. Make sure to use products approved by the American Dental Association. If your tongue is coated with a disgusting looking slime, use your toothbrush or a tongue scraper to clean it off. Mouthwash can be helpful during the day if you don't have a toothbrush—it can kill some bacteria and neutralize some bad breath—but nothing can replace brushing. During the day make sure to eat healthy foods that are good for your teeth and help produce saliva. Apples and carrots help with this, and sugar free gum can help produce saliva as well. If you are a smoker, quit; your breath will thank you. If you have dentures, take them out each night and clean them. If you follow all these steps and still have bad breath, make an appointment with a dentist.