National Kissing Day

July 6th is National Kissing Day which is now celebrating its 20th year after being launched by Denplan in 1995

However, those hoping for a romantic encounter this Monday may need to check their breath if they want to have any chance of a kiss.

According to a 2014 YouGov Survey* conducted on behalf of Denplan, over 80% of UK adults admitted they would be put off dating someone who had bad breath. Regionally, adults from the South West (86%) and West Midlands (85%) are the most likely to be put off by bad breath whereas Londoners and Scots are slightly more tolerant of bad breath (74% and 75% respectively).

Clearly your chances of love could be at risk if you go in for a kiss if your date takes a dislike to your breath. So what can be done?

Our Deputy Chief Dental Officer, Henry Clover, offers some tips:

“Bad breath – otherwise known as halitosis – is very common and affects most of us at some point in our lives,” he says. “It can occur for a variety of reasons and is often easily sorted, so it’s important to try and pinpoint what’s causing your bad breath to find the right solution for you.”

Better breath image

Easy ways to keep your breath fresh

Statistics show your chances of love this National Kissing Day could be at risk if your date takes a dislike to your breath. So what can be done?

Your oral health

“First and foremost, your current oral health has a huge impact upon the freshness of your mouth,” says Henry. “Bacteria can build up in your mouth and release unpleasant gases, so make sure that you’re removing plaque - the white sticky deposit that collects on your teeth - by brushing your teeth for two minutes, twice a day. Bacteria can also lurk on the surface of your tongue, so it may benefit from a quick brush too. Make sure you’re cleaning between your teeth every day to remove plaque and food particles stuck between your teeth, as these will start to smell as they break down. Gum disease and other infections in the mouth can cause very bad breath, so make sure you visit your dentist and hygienist regularly to keep on top of things.”

Food and drink

“Avoiding strong-smelling food will help to keep your breath fresh,” advises Henry. “These include onions, garlic, and spices, and drinks such as coffee and alcohol. It’s also worth noting that crash-diets, not eating enough, and low carbohydrate diets can cause bad breath because your body starts to break down body fat to feed itself, which produces chemicals called ketones that can be smelt on your breath.”


“Smoking stays on your breath a long time as well as your hair and clothes,” says Henry. “It also increases your risk of gum disease, which is another potential cause of bad breath.”

Staying fresh on your date

Feeling a bit nervous before an important date? “Staying hydrated is important for fresh breath, as a dry mouth and lack of saliva, which can sometimes be caused by nerves, can cause bad breath,” advises Henry. “Drink plenty of water. Sugar-free chewing gum and mints will increase your saliva flow and give you extra confidence before and during your date.

*The survey was conducted by YouGov on behalf of Denplan. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 5,148 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 13th - 17th January 2014. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+). Please note, as of February 2017, Denplan have rebranded as Simplyhealth Professionals. 

Published: July 01th, 2015

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