How To Maintain Good Breath On A First Date

Don’t let Halitosis Ruin a Good Date!

First dates are all about good impressions, right? No matter if you’re meeting a cutie you swiped right on on Tinder or finally taking it to the next level with an old friend, you want things to go well. One way things absolutely will not go well? If you’re sporting bad breath.

So, don’t! Here’s our list of easy things you can do to make sure your mouth is fresh and free of foul odor on your next first date. After all, the fresher the mouth, the greater the possibility you’ll score a first kiss, too.  

  1. Do Some Oral Primping: The outfit’s been chosen, the hair’s been styled…so why not include your mouth in the pre-date primping? Chances are, you brushed your teeth in the morning when you got up (go you and your good oral hygiene!), but it never hurts to give ‘em another once over with your toothbrush before you head out. Don’t forget to brush your tongue, an area which can harbor a whole bunch of halitosis-inducing bacteria.

If you’re feeling super fastidious, you can also floss to remove additional plaque and debris. For good measure, apply lip balm to make sure your lips are nicely moisturized. A good-looking grin should score you some points right off the bat.

  1. Mind Your Order: Dining out? You’ve got to choose your order carefully, whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Garlic in pretty much any form—especially garlic bread!—is out. Ditto for onions, especially raw ones in salads or sandwiches. Avoid stringy vegetables that could get stuck in your teeth, like spinach or shredded lettuce, as well. And popcorn (as popular as it is for romantic movie dates) is one of the worst culprits for sticking in between and behind teeth, so you’ll do yourself a solid if you choose another theater snack.

If your date is cooking, you might not be able to opt out of the bad-breath inducing ingredients mentioned above, as it would be rude to refuse a home-cooked meal. But unless your prospective partner has prepared something super stinky like homemade sauerkraut, you should be able to deal. Drink lots of water to wash down your meal, which should help with any odors.

For drinks, you’re pretty much good on all fronts, although it’s probably best to avoid liquids that can temporarily stain your teeth, like red wine. You should also say no to any beverage with floaters or debris that could stick, like mojitos—too much mint—or berry smoothies—so many tiny seeds.

  1. Bring BackUp: Obviously, you can’t control all of the variables that might impact your breath on a first date, because life happens. And that’s totally ok! A first date should be fun and easy, not an anxiety-inducing event. But if you’re someone who is extra worried about your breath, you can bring along some back up to do damage control if it’s needed.

Pop a few mini disposable toothbrushes in your purse or pocket so you can do an emergency brush in the bathroom. If that seems just a little like oral overkill to you, stock up on your favorite brand of mouth spray, mints, or gum for all your breath-freshening needs.

Bonus points if you offer mints or gum to your date—they’ll get the message that you’d like things to progress, wink wink nudge nudge. Fingers crossed you get that kiss!