Breathing and Breath
When kissing, there is always one simple rule that must be obeyed: Remember to breathe!!! Oxygen, you may have noticed, plays a fairly important part in this whole "living" thing, so it probably shouldn't be neglected. Really good kisses, however, have the tendency to make one forget all that, as you'd rather keep kissing than take a break for stupid air. Rest assured, breathe a little now, and your kissing will go on a lot longer.
The actual mechanics of breathing during kissing are up to various interpretations. Sometimes you can just rely on the old nose to do its duty, and breath through that. Sometimes (cold and flu season, for example), that's just not possible. Then it's time to get creative. As with everything else, it works out best if you can work it into the flow of the kiss. This is a great opportunity to give some feedback while taking care of your oxygen needs. Just take a break to pant a bit, or kiss their neck, or do a little 'lip dancing'... anything to break the seal of a deep kiss and fill those lungs. Breathing is important, so don't forget it.
Bad Breath, the Bane of Kissing
Of course, the downside of breathing is... Bad Breath. Bad breath has been the bane of kissing for as long as kissing has existed. At the very basic level, bad breath is caused by bacteria and other nasties that grow in your mouth... eliminate these, and you stand a good chance of eliminating bad breath. Luckily, there are many, many ways these days to conquer this scourge of romance.
The first, and easiest, way to ensure nice breathe is regular tooth brushing. This is a daily habit you should have gotten into when you were about 3 years old... if you didn't, then get into it now! There is no place in our society for those who don't brush your teeth. Next in line is brushing's cousin, flossing. This is a little harder to get to, but equally important. This is also the sort of activity that will ensure you still have teeth when you're 68 years old. Dentures are NOT a barrier to kissing... but wouldn't you rather just take care of your real teeth now?
Once daily maintenance is out of the way, it's on to washes, mints, and sprays. There are literally dozens of minty-tasting ways to ensure good breath... a quick trip to your local drugstore or health-and-beauty department will provide you with all you need. Breath improvers can be mints, minty sprays, mint drops, mouth wash, pills you swallow, even special toothpaste. Each of these work in their own special way, and have positive and negative aspects.
Mints: The most basic of all breath fresheners, the mint has been around for a very long time. They come in bags, tins, rolls... just about every size and shape imaginable. They are generally easy to use, discreet, and work about as well as anything... depending on the brand. buy some now
Sprays: Breath sprays generally come in tiny little aerosol cans, and are sprayed directly into the mouth when needed. They can be VERY minty, but can definitely have a smarmy connotation. Think about every movie you've seen when someone 'spritzes' their mouth right before they kiss... looks pretty cheezy, doesn't it? So much so, it's a cliché. If you can avoid this problem (do it in private or when no one's looking), or just don't care, this could be for you. buy some now
Mouth Wash: A vital part of many people's daily mouth ritual, mouth wash can also help fight cavities, gingivitis, tartar... all that lovely stuff they always talk about on commercials. Mouth wash is more of a preventative measure than a regular upkeep solution (how often do you carry around a bottle of mouthwash?), but definitely has a place in oral hygiene. buy some now
Pills: A fairly new addition to the fresh-breath arsenal, pills you swallow work by eliminating any odors coming from your stomach. They can be very effective if you've eaten something offensive (such as garlic), but don't do much about mouth-related stench.
Bonus Tip: A more effective way to test your breath than the old "breathe in the hand" trick is to lick the back of your hand, then sniff that. Since bad breathe is caused by the stuff floating around in your mouth anyway, this gives a more realistic gauge of where you rank on the halitosis scale.
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