Bad breath is the biggest turn-off when it comes to finding potential partners, according to new research from the UK.
A survey by the Oral Health Foundation into attraction reveals bad breath would be a turn-off for 85 per cent of British adults looking for a new partner. Single Brits have deemed it a bigger faux pas than bad jokes, terrible dress sense, lateness and even poor manners.
The findings of the ‘National Smile Month Survey’ also reveal that 80 per cent would not go on a second date with someone if they had bad breath on the first.
Bad breath, or halitosis as it’s known medically, can be caused by a number of factors. It is extremely common, with some studies claiming that it affects half the adult population.
In the short term, eating strong-smelling or spicy foods such as garlic or tuna will taint our breath, while drinks such as coffee and red wine also add to the problem
The main cause of bad breath is poor oral hygiene. Not brushing teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, or cleaning in between teeth regularly with an interdental brush, can lead to bad breath. In particular, failure to do the latter allows bits of food to build up in between the teeth which in turn encourages bacteria and plaque to form, leading to smelly breath.
“When it comes to bad breath, the first thing we recommend is adopting a good oral health routine,” Oral Health Foundation CEO Dr Nigel Carter said.
“The tongue can harbour a lot of bacteria, some of which encourage bad breath, so brushing your tongue can be something you can incorporate into your dental routine. Ultimately, the best place to go to both understand why you might be experiencing bad breath, and how to prevent it, is your dentist.
“It is important that we take bad breath seriously,” Dr Carter continued. “Bad breath can be a sign of wider problems including gum disease which if left untreated, can lead to tooth loss.”