Tongues Out Tuesday

391467_2009This is more than Miley Cyrus showing off her tonsils at the VMAs. Dozens of international celebrities have joined the ranks for Tongues Out Tuesday, posting pictures on social media of themselves sticking out their tongues. Actress Drew Barrymore snapped one with co-star Adam Sandler, Ke$ha surprised no one by licking her friend’s face and American-German model Heidi Klum wagged her tongue beside her two big dogs.

Oh, and yes, Miley did upload a selfie with a friend. Luckily, this time she didn’t have a coated tongue, which is a telltale sign of bad breath. The tongue’s surface turns that white or yellow color when it becomes colonized by bacteria or fungi, and dead cells get trapped between the tiny raised bumps called nodules.

So, if you want to partake in the new midweek ritual, pull out your smartphone, but make sure you don’t have halitosis!

Keep selfies from going sour
What are the best ways to check if you have oral odor? The traditional technique of breathing into your hand and smelling it is only effective if you want to smell your hand, experts say. Otherwise, here’s a better option: Lick your wrist, let it dry for five seconds and then smell the spot. If it stinks, chances are you need a breath freshener.

Like body odor, the tricky part of bad breath is that it can be hard to notice on yourself. If you trust and feel comfortable enough with someone, you can ask them politely if your breath smells bad. Unless they’re jokesters, they will likely give you an honest answer. Fortunately, there are a handful of methods to kick the smell.

Ways to fight off halitosis
1. Chew sugar-free gum. Keeping a pack on you at all times is the simplest solution to get rid of bad breath before the photo opportunity. Gum helps out in two ways: not only does it mask the undesired smell for the time being, but also stimulates saliva production to kill anaerobic bacteria,  the culprit of most stinky mouths. When this bacteria mixes with food particles, it produces what dentists call volatile sulfur compounds (VSC). Think of the rotten egg smell. That’s a VSC. According to research conducted by Dr. Cassiano Rösing, associate professor of the department of conservative dentistry at the University of Rio Grande do Sol in Brazil, gum can temporarily lower VSC production by more than 70 percent.

2. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Experts recommend that we consume at least 32 ounces, or four cups, of water each day. When your mouth dries out, it leaves a habitable environment for anaerobic bacteria for accumulate. Besides, nearly half of Americans don’t consume enough H2O, according to a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Mentally and physically, we’re better off being hydrated,” Paula Burke, clinical dietitian at MetroSouth Medical Center in Illinois, told The Chicago Tribune. “The human body is about 70 percent water; we need it. It helps our circulation, makes us feel better, helps rid our bodies of toxins and prevents constipation.”

It also helps ward off foul breath by washing down stray food bits. Bring a water bottle with you, or buy a cup for your desk at work.

3. Another method is to rinse with alcohol-free mouthwash. It’s important that you avoid products that contain alcohol, as those can actually trigger halitosis by drying out your mouth. With that icy mint flavor or menthol cooling power, you’ll be sure to keep bad breath at bay.

Watch out Sunday Funday and Throwback Thursday, we now have Tongues out Tuesday. Upload your selfie to your social networks.

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