As An Anosmic, Are You Constantly Worried About Having Bad Breath?
As a congenital anosmic, I’ve never been able to tell if my breath smells bad. EVER! You’re probably thinking…you know what Yazz? Me too! I know just how frustrating and downright embarrassing to not know can be, so I feel you.
I’ve had my share of awkward moments because of bad breath. I once had an after-lunch meeting with my boss and she was the one to tell me that my breath smelled awful. Can you imagine? I KNOW! BUT! It was okay! It served as a great opportunity to be all “Oops!” and remind her of my condition and create a better bond between us. It made her feel good to know that I trusted her with my “secret”, and she was very understanding. She even bought me a full jar of mints later that week too! LOL
Anyways, just because this invisible smell that throws people off exists and we can’t sense it doesn’t mean it should ruin our day or limit us in our social life. Life is too short so, DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT. Look, I don’t take it personal when I make a bad breath mistake, or any mistake for that matter. It’s called life and you live and you learn…
Plus…guess what?. My purpose is to spare you of committing any anosmia mistakes so I got your back. Double guess what? I created this post as a little cheat sheet that’ll help you keep your bad breath at bay. Woohoo!!! Read through my following tips so you can keep that beautiful smile of yours WITH fresh breath always.
So What Should You Do?
1. Keep a Stash of Gum and Mints Handy
Have you ever felt as though you were miles and miles away from a gum or mint when you needed it the most? It really sucks when you don’t have anyone to ask if they have a gum or mint to spare. So, the best answer? Keeping a stash around and ON YOU, of course! This squashes any bad breath doubts whenever you’re by yourself and on the go. I recommend carrying gum and mints inside your pocket, book bag, car, purse, and work area.
2. But, Are The Any Natural Ways Of Freshening Your Breath?
Yes! If you prefer using natural remedies, you can try chewing on a clean piece of mint leaf, lemon or orange rind. Just a head’s up…these options can taste bitter at first but are so refreshing! They leave your mouth feeling zingy and renewed. You can also use peppermint oil*. More on that in the next tip.
3. Maintain Proper Oral Hygiene
Brush your teeth, AND gums twice daily, especially after eating or drinking. As an extra bonus, I not only brush my teeth at home, but at work. I like to carry a travel size toothbrush and toothpaste in my purse or desk. These products are what I use in my “Anosmia Survival Kit.” I even paid homage to them in one of my webcomic episodes.
Also, did you know your tongue houses a lot of bacteria? I once noticed a white film in the center of my tongue (I know TMI!) and I remember asking my sister about it. She told me it was bacteria and that I had to brush my tongue. I WAS LIKE WHAT? People brush their tongue? I thought it was only supposed to be your teeth? Apparently you should do both and after incorporating this into my routine I highly recommend you clean your tongue daily. There are tongue scrapers and brushes available that will help you remove the icky bacteria that likes to hang around.
Of course, another important aspect of maintaining great hygiene is flossing. You should floss regularly.
*Also, in case you were wondering about using peppermint oil for fresher breath, I found this all-natural mouthwash from Vermints.com website:
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
1 small mason jar or glass bottle
1/2 cup water
1 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp sea salt
2 or 3 drops peppermint essential oil*
HOW TO MAKE IT:
Pour all the ingredients into the jar and shake to combine (you’ll want to give the jar a shake before each use).
Gargle for 1 – 2 minutes.
Spit and rinse your mouth with water.
FRESH TIP: Pour some of the rinse into an even smaller container you can keep in your bag or at work for an afternoon rinse.
4. Drink Plenty of Water.
Ideally, you should drink at least eight 8 ounce glasses of water a day. How come? Well, not drinking enough H20 will dry your mouth and it will become stale. A dry mouth allows bacteria to thrive, and remember we talked about all those germs that like to hang out and party on your tongue? Well, water will flush them out and end their festivities. Stay hydrated.
5. Avoid Smoking
You already know smoking is bad for all sorts of reasons, but let’s cut down to the chase. Cigarette smoke (I’ve heard) really stinks and when you inhale all that gross smoke, it penetrates your hair, clothes and lungs. Once it hits your lungs and comes back out…the smell will linger on your breath…
Nothing that “lingers” is good for you in life. Don’t start this habit if you haven’t, and break free if you have (I believe in you). If you live in the U.S. you can call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) for help and resources with quitting your smoking habit.
6. Most Importantly...Ask Your Designated Nose For Help
If you’ve followed most of my previous recommendations but still have doubts about your breath, you can end your dilemma by asking your Designated Nose for help. I will always include asking your DN as an option because it’s so effective. Never be embarrassed to ask for a quick breath check. There’s only so much we can do sometimes and asking for help is a great habit to adopt. Any confident, successful person will tell you, we can’t do everything on our own.
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