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5 ways to beat mask breath

We're all encouraged to wear masks when in public. If you've been doing so and are battling 'mask mouth' these tips may help. Photo: Metro Creative Connection

While masks aren't yet mandatory, they are strongly encouraged to help fight the transmission of COVID-19, especially when in indoor public spaces. But have you noticed that 'mask breath' isn't all that great? You may be the only one smelling your breath in this situation, but it's likely that sweet-smelling breath will keep more of us wearing masks more often.

For ideas on how to curb the dreaded mask mouth, dental professionals have a few mask-friendly tips. Read on!

1) Brush and floss your teeth regularly - We've all heard the mantra, brush twice a day with flouride toothpaste, and floss regularly too. Don't forget to brush your tongue and inside your cheeks too--these spots harbour bacteria that can cause bad breath.

2) Watch what you're eating - Coffee, onions, garlic and other pungent foods--all culprits that can give you nasty breath, especially when trapped between your mouth and mask. Fight back with foods like lemons, parsley and veggies. Sugarfree gum with xylitol can help with PH in the mouth, and kill bacteria that causes cavities, so it's a good idea to chew a piece when you're masked up.

3) Drink water to combat dry mouth - Mouth-breathing can be extra drying, which causes breath to smell. Drink lots of water before heading out and whenever your mask is off. If you're on a low-carb diet, drinking extra water is recommended. The sugar-free breath mints won't hurt in this case either.

4) Don't smoke - Smoker's breath is brutal, so there's no solution here but to quit smoking.

5) Change/clean your mask regularly - If using the disposable type of medical masks, change frequently. if you're using a homemade cloth mask, wash often.