oral hygiene

How To Tell If You Have Bad Breath

YEUCH!! WTF is that stench?! Someone's got really bad breath!!

It goes without saying that bad breath is a big no-no.  Here are 5 methods to tell if you have bad breath :-

1.  Forget Ass-Licking, it’s all about Wrist-Licking

Lick the inside of your wrist, wave it about in the air like you just don’t care, to dry the patch of saliva and then, smell.

2.  Smell Yo Floss

This method kills two birds with one stone.  First, you floss and then you smell it.

(Don’t know how to floss?  Watch me in action!)

3.  Burst the Bubble

Everybody has their own invisible Bubble.  I am telling you to find a random friend, burst their Bubble, invade their personal space and breathe on them.  If they recoil in disgust, it could be your bad breath or B.O.  Further investigation is required.

However, if you haven’t even burst any Bubbles yet, but you notice that ALL of your friends generally don’t maintain eye contact or turn away slightly when you talk, you have VERY BAD BREATH!  They’re gasping for fresh air and trying not to die from your bad breath!

4.  The Special Nasal Voice

You’ve burst their Bubble and they haven’t been repelled…but you notice that your friend has a special voice reserved only for you.  It’s not the special “sexy” voice…in, they sound like they have a cold when they speak to you.  They are not breathing through their nose.  ‘Nuff said!

5.  Visit Your Dentist

Dentists become immune to bad breath after a while…but if they whack on two masks drenched in menthol / eucalyptus oil to work on you, it means your breath is honking!!

Congratulations if you have passed all these bad breath tests…but the true test is to kiss me and I will let you know!!  LOL!  Just kidding!!  YEUCH!  I have kissed guys with yukky cheesy breath…!  But that’s another story.

If you have discovered that you have bad breath, please do not panic!  And please, do not breathe all over me!  YEUCH!

Let me know if you found this useful and if you want me to do a follow-up post on how to deal with halitosis.

TGIF #1 : Are You Brushing Your Teeth Properly?

Welcome to The Best Beauty Blog’s TGIF series – which stands for “Teeth, Gums – It’s Friday!”  Cheesy, huh?  Anyway, this series is meant to inform and educate you all on dental health.  Please note that I am not trying to be patronising, but merely entertaining with my sarcastic humour in these posts.  I mean, seriously, who wants to read a boring dental manual, so I had to add some wit into the writing, naturally.  It’s so me, you know!

Like, duh?  Of course I know how to brush my teeth…

Roll your eyes if you wish.  You may be wondering why on earth do you need to learn how to brush your teeth properly.  You’ve been doing it all your life…  “Pfft, what does she know?!  She doesn’t even work as a full-time dentist!”  You’re right, I know nothing, really.  I just studied 6 years in University, got a Dental degree with a medal at Graduation.  And wait, I have worked 6-7 years full-time in well-known dental surgeries and treated VIPs (no, not A-list celebs like my colleagues, but VIPs in the presidency…and got offered a job with my own bulletproof car!)… “Oh for goodness sake, not another name-dropper!”  Well, yeah, I had to show you that I have had experience in the big bad dental world…but you know what, that’s cool, please click away…but before you do, have you wondered why you have fillings even with your “awesome tooth-brushing routine”?  Oh wait, you don’t have any fillings?  But for some reason, your gums are receding faster than Prince William’s hairline.  Ooh, maybe you should read this post then!

And ahem, apologies to the readers who do want to learn how to brush their teeth properly.  But I had to be sarcastic and let it out of my system because funnily enough, when I’m at work as a dentist, I still get weird looks from patients who think I am talking absolutely rubbish when I give them oral hygiene instruction!!  My own father even refuses to listen to me when I tell him he is brushing his teeth wrongly!!!  Anyway, let’s get down and dirty – this technique is for a manual (i.e. non-electric) toothbrush and for adults.

Do not scrub your teeth up and down then left and right!!

The toothbrushing technique I recommend is the Modified Bass Technique which is effective at removing plaque and debris to help prevent tooth decay and gum disease.  Place the bristles of the toothbrush onto your teeth at a 45-degree angle and gently brush in small, circular motions.  Every tooth needs some toothbrushing love, so take your time and don’t rush it.  Also, make sure you brush gently around the gum line where your gums meet your teeth.  Move along until you have covered all exposed teeth surfaces – which means front of teeth, back of teeth and biting surface of teeth.  This should take you a minimum of 2 minutes – unless you have like, 3 teeth in your mouth as you lost all your other ones.

(Finish it off with brushing your tongue to avoid bad breath!  A topic which we can explore later on in the TGIF series.)

Run your tongue around your teeth and there shouldn’t be a furry coating anymore.  (This furry coating is known as dental plaque.)

That’s so simple…but why do people still get it wrong…?

1.  You do not need a fancy gizmo gadget toothbrush nor do you need a toothbrush the size of your fist!  You want a small to medium sized head, which can reach areas around your teeth easily.  (Are electric toothbrushes better than manual toothbrushes?  I did a literature study on this at Uni and the answer is NO.  However, I have purchased my first ever electric toothbrush to investigate these claims further so will present the results to you at a later date.)

2.  Some people think the harder the toothbrush bristles, the better.  Yes, the better to cause irreversible damage to your enamel!!  You want a soft bristled brush.  “But soft-bristled toothbrushes get dog-eared so easily!”  What the F do you have on your teeth that you need to scrub it like you’re scrubbing a rusty and heavily skid-marked toilet bowl??  Sometimes, when I visit friends’ homes and see their toothbrushes, my teeth shriek in pain!  (Yes, they can do that because my teeth are special, alright?!)  Don’t be fooled by those TV adverts where they say short bristles and long bristles and whatever bristles will work wonders for your teeth.  Remember, the key is to be gentle using a light pressure to brush your teeth with soft bristles.

3.  When choosing a toothpaste, you’re looking for any brand of toothpaste with fluoride in it.  Fluoride is magic.  It helps your teeth from decaying.  And the people who campaign against mass fluoridation in water have no idea how much they keep dentists in business!  Thank you!  Say what?  You use bicarbonate of soda or soap or something other than toothpaste to clean your teeth…?  Okay, don’t come running to me when something goes horribly wrong because I’ll just turn and say “I told you so!

4.  Okay, so this is usually when I get the “WTF?” look from patients…but when you brush your teeth, you should only spit out the excess toothpaste suds and not rinse.  This is because you want to protect your teeth with the fluoride in the toothpaste.  “Oh, but it tastes horrible!  And I’ve been rinsing my mouth forever!”  – pass me a gun so I can shoot myself already!!!

5.  This also causes confusion because there is differing opinions amongst dental professionals – “Do you brush teeth before or after breakfast?”  And this is a bit science-y so bear with me.  Whenever you eat something, the pH in your mouth starts to drop which reaches acidic territories.  Your teeth are at a weakened state from this acidic environment, but saliva acts as a buffering agent and will slowly neutralise the situation…but this takes time and can be up to an hour.  Bearing that in mind, what will happen when you brush your teeth in an acidic environment?  Toothwear springs to mind and you can only blame yourself for stripping away the precious enamel on your teeth.  And have I heard patients whinge about, “Oh, but I like brushing my teeth after I eat breakfast so that my breath stays fresher.”  And I always want to ask them, “What the F are you eating at breakfast which will cause your mouth to stink for the rest of your day?”  If you must, rinse with mouthwash.  And then there’s my Husband who says, “Oh, but food tastes weird if you’re supposed to brush and not rinse out the toothpaste.”  Awwww, diddums!  Suck it up princess!  Hey wait, I’m supposed to be the princess in our marriage!!

6.  “My gums bleed when I brush my teeth, so I stopped brushing altogether!”  I will go into more depth on this at a later date, but there’s 2 things you need to know about bleeding gums.  Gums will bleed if you scrub your teeth and gums like a crazy maniac.  Toothbrushing needs to be atraumatic and gentle, as mentioned before.  However, if you are gently brushing and there’s still bleeding, it is the first sign of gum disease.  Don’t panic!  See a dentist.  It is also a cry for help from your gums so you need to brush more and not avoid brushing altogether!  BUT, the converse of that is NOT true.  Non-bleeding gums do NOT mean that you are gum disease-free.  Don’t worry, I will cover this in detail later.

I may have bombarded you with too much dental information and too much sarcastic humour today so I think I shall end here, but please do come back same time, same place, next week for more dental advice.  I believe it’s going to be a flossing tutorial.  Ah yes, flossing…the activity a lot of people never do (correctly), but wonder why they have gum disease and/or bad breath!! I will also be covering a variety of topics on dental health – teeth whitening, bad breath, veneers, cosmetic dentistry…until people tell me to shut up and move on back to beauty products.  If you have any questions or suggestions for future topics, please let me know.

(Disclaimer : The information on this blog post is intended to be funny, yet educational.  It is a general overview of a variety of topics associated with dental health.  This does not in any way imply a doctor-patient relationship.  The content is not intended to take the place of an examination or consultation with your dentist or other healthcare professionals.  No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents you read here.  If in doubt, seek your own dentist for professional advice.)

My New Favourite Dental Product

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to my new favourite dental product – GC Tri Plaque ID Gel.  To explain what it is and what it does, I have to use some dental jargon science thing…

Biofilm and Dental Plaque

Biofilm, in dental terms, is a bacterial layer which is formed on teeth and gums which if not removed properly can cause caries (tooth decay) and periodontal (gum) disease.  It’s similar to dental plaque – which you can sometimes feel as the furry coating on your teeth if you haven’t brushed your teeth.  Anyway, biofilms are a bit complicated as even when you remove it, microorganisms in your oral cavity (mouth) will quickly form another biofilm.  So basically, you can’t win!  However, it is important to remove dental plaque (tooth decay’s favourite furry friend) with toothbrushing and flossing to leave squeaky clean teeth.

Good Or Bad Oral Hygiene?

Being a dentist, I have seen patients with excellent immaculate oral hygiene and the total opposite – I have even treated a patient who had never brushed his teeth for 20-odd years.  Giving oral hygiene advice is easy for patients who admit that they neglect brushing their teeth.  However, giving similar advice to people who think they are brushing their teeth well but in my professional opinion, are not doing a great job is a different story – they get really defensive!!!  They look at me as if I know nothing about teeth!!!  Seriously!  But this is where GC Tri Plaque ID Gel comes to the rescue!!!

What Does GC Tri Plaque ID Gel Do?

You may have seen plaque disclosing tablets before which when chewed stain your teeth and highlight areas with dental plaque.  GC Tri Plaque ID Gel is also a form of disclosing agent but this gel identifies new, mature and acid-producing biofilms.  Apply some gel with a Q-tip on a few teeth and then rinse gently to see the results.

Pink indicates an area of a thin deposit of plaque which has been cleaned recently and the biofilm is immature.
Purple  indicates an area of a thick deposit of plaque which has not been cleaned in the last 48+ hours where complex biofilm has been formed.  This is a cause of gingivitis (a form of gum disease).
Light blue indicates an area of plaque which is producing acid.  This is a high risk biofilm.

This is a picture of my teeth – which are not bad.  The smooth surfaces of my teeth are brushed well, but I am not doing so well around the gingival (gum) margin.  I also need to floss more.

Trust me, I have seen really bad unbrushed teeth.  I can almost tell what they had for dinner last week!!!  LOL

I simply love this dental product!  I love showing patients who don’t believe me when I say their oral hygiene needs improvement.  Hello?! Even I, a dentist, must brush my teeth better too.

Note : GC Tri Plaque ID Gel is contraindicated for patients with a hydrobenzoates allergy.

Unfortunately, GC Tri Plaque ID Gel is not readily available for purchase.  Your dentist may not even stock the product, but you should definitely ask and see.  If all else fails, just buy some disclosing tablets which will show all areas of plaque but will not distinguish the different types.

For more information, please check out the GC Tri Plaque ID Gel brochure.

One of my dental nurses bought me this and customised it with a pink face mask and my name badge. Sweet!!

Disclaimer :  I was not sponsored nor paid to write this post.  I used this product in the dental clinic I work in.