Bad breath an Aussie romance killer: study
Research has confirmed the long-held suspicion that bad breath is a romance killer.
According to a new study released for Dental Health Week, 26 per cent of Australians aged 18-40 have turned down a second date because their potential 'match' had bad breath.
The subject is apparently a delicate one for women, with 53 per cent of female respondents in the survey of a thousand people saying they'd be very offended if they were told they had bad breath on a date, although they would look to fix it.
By comparison, 59 per cent of men surveyed insisted they wouldn't take offence but would also aim to address it.
Forty-eight per cent of respondents overall said they wouldn't risk offending a first date by telling them they had bad breath despite it being a determining factor for a second date.
The good news, according to the study, is Australians are taking additional steps to ensure they show up for dates smelling their best.
Fifty-four per cent chew gum, 39 per cent use fragrance and 32 per cent spray or roll-on deodorant.
"While out on a date, sugar-free gum and water are both great on-the-go solutions to help wash away food debris to keep your breath fresh and boost confidence," Gold Coast dentist Matt Hedge said.
"Scientific research has shown that chewing sugar-free gum stimulates saliva by as much as 12 times which helps to raise the pH balance in the mouth and protect the teeth from food acids produced by plaque, creating a much cleaner and healthier environment for your teeth."
Dr Hedge said a number of factors cause smelly breath, including diet and personal hygiene.
"Each time we eat or drink, bacteria produces acids that lower the pH level in our mouth," he said. "This combined with increased plaque levels can significantly increase the chance of bad breath."
On the subject of pre-first date rituals, the survey found freshening one's breath among the top ways to boost confidence.
Forty-eight per cent of respondents said they brushed or gargled before stepping out, 52 per cent made sure to shower, 39 per cent wore new clothes and 20 per cent enlisted moral support from a friend or took a drink.
A majority of respondents (57 per cent) said it was important for their partner to look after their own oral hygiene.
Bad breath was cited by 45 per cent as a reason they would put off introducing a new partner to their friends.
Dental Health Week, which starts Monday, is coordinated by the Australian Dental Association and aims to promote the significance of maintaining good oral health.
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