Fancy soaring above the clouds? A poll conducted by Skyscanner revealed that passengers with bad breath and body odour were voted the worst people to sit next to on a plane. September school holidays is just around the corner and if you have made plans to travel with your family, read on for tips to eliminate bad breath on your next flight. As for body odour, besides taking regular showers and perhaps a spritz of perfume, we would leave the remedies to the medical experts.

1) Have regular meals

Some people may skip meals while they are flying because they do not like eating airplane food, or to save the hassle of brushing after their meals. Since saliva is produced when one is eating or chewing food, the production of saliva decreases and bacteria increases when one skips a meal. Therefore, even when one has brushed one’s teeth but did not have a meal the whole day, bad breath may reoccur in the later part of the day.

2) Stay alcohol-free and sugar-free

Alcohol is the most common drying agent found in food. It dries out the mouth, leading to a reduction in saliva production, and activating the bacteria that produces smelly sulphur compounds. Sugar also encourages the breeding of the bacteria. Therefore, do yourself a favour by staying away from alcohol and sugar during the flight.

We understand that there may be cases where this is not possible; after all, what is a holiday without alcohol and sweets? Fret not, the next tip would come in handy.

3) Brush 30 to 45 minutes after meal

It is recommended for one to brush one’s teeth, tongue, cheeks, gums and palate (roof of your mouth) with toothpaste, 30 to 45 minutes after a meal, to eradicate lingering smell of food consumed, and to clean away bacteria that has formed. This includes cleaning of removable dental appliances such as dentures and retainers.

4) Stay hydrated

When one is hydrated, saliva is produced consistently to clean the bacteria in one’s mouth, eliminating bad breath. Therefore, drink water regularly to prevent a dry mouth.

5) Visit your dentist every six months

Routine check-ups with the dentist would ensure plaque and bacteria that cannot be removed by brushing only are being removed by professional cleaning. Dentists also help to determine the cause of persistent bad breath, if any.


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