You’re a vision of sugar plums dancing in your Tinder date’s dreams.

Your skin is moisturized – dewy, some would say. Your hair’s as soft as Santa’s chest hairs. Your Byredo fragrance is warm, inviting, like a milky hot chocolate. You’re GLOWING and it’s not only because of these blinding Christmas lights you’re standing next to.

But you get to dinner, go to hug your date and suddenly – suddenly! – their face winces, they turn away, they tell you they have to go to the bathroom. You’re refreshing “Thank U, Next” for the seventh time, admiring the Bend and Snap and realize your date never came back. What gives?

This exact situation has happened to a close friend years ago. Let’s call him “George.” George is 6’2″ with modelesque features, doughy dimples, caramel skin and bleached blonde hair. He’s everything you want to be. But after every date he’d come back and look confused, as none wanted to head home with him. It’s then and there that we (his friends) told him he DEFINITELY had halitosis.

Halitosis. Dragon breath. STANK breath. Death breath. Whatever the case, it’s a real dire situation, one in which can put your very social life in danger. To get to the bottom of BAD BREATH though, we need to understand that the most probably cause of this is this: volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) that are created after you eat something. That’s a fancy term but one that explains HOW bad breath starts. That’s from oral bacteria eating the protein you eat and converting it into stinky sulfur gas. Those who are on a low-carb high-protein diets, like Ketosis, know that a side effect is … horrible breath.

But sometimes it’s not just normal bad breath or hygiene. Other factors include:

Dental issues. These come in the form of  cavities or gum disease that gives bad breath bacteria places to hide. Brushing along cannot solve this and you’ll need to get professional dental help.

Infections. Your breath can be its worst if you have mouth, nose or throat infections, where bacteria feeds on mucus.

Dry mouth. Believe it or not, a lack of saliva can make your breath become completely uninhabitable for the people around you. Saliva is important as it rinses out your mouth of leftover foods. Without enough saliva production your mouth becomes a deserted, hot place for bacteria growth. Yipes!

If it’s not a real dental or medication condition (which it isn’t for most of us!) you can start by practicing good hygiene. Apparently after speaking more with George, he informed all of us that he only brushed his teeth in the morning. “Morning breath sucks,” he said. But not brushing at night causes ALL of your food to literally become a breeding ground for bacteria. If you’re like George and won’t brush more than once, at least floss at night, a better option any way, than brushing. While brushing will definitely clean your teeth it won’t get into the small crevices where bacteria (and overall plaque) builds up. So, long story short, BRUSH TWICE AND FLOSS!

For everything else, here are some wonder products that will get you going.

The one toothbrush we stan for is from Philips Sonicare. Every electric toothbrush from the line (from it’s most affordable to its expensive DiamondClean line) is really, really good. Almost as good as going to the dentist. We love Coco Floss because it’s made from real coconut, is sustainable, and does a great job at flossing. Our favorite toothpaste is actually from Crest. It’s the brand’s new Gum Detoxify line, all about neutralizing plaque bacteria. A good tongue scraper is from Dr. Tung‘s, one that removes harmful bacteria and debris (they say it’s 5x more effective than a toothbrush!). After, we recommend TheraBreath, a rinse create to neutralize sulfur-producing bacteria for up to 24 hours. For maintenance, we’re into Listerine’s new Ready! Tabs, a chewable tablet that converts from solid to liquid in seconds. It’s kinda weird to swish this with your own spit … but we’ve done crazier things!

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