* The most obvious – brush thoroughly twice a day. Try and use toothpaste like Colgate Total that contains fluoride as well as Triclosan (an effective antibacterial and antifungal).
* Brush your tongue while brushing your teeth. If you find that difficult to do, buy a tongue scraper and use it daily. The tongue is a reservoir of germs!
* Gargle or mouth wash. There are many mouthwashes available. Hydrogen peroxide (diluted) is another very effective mouth wash.
* Floss! I am amazed how few Indians floss their teeth regularly. Flossing removes the tiny trapped food particles and also the plaque trapped between the teeth which a tooth brush cannot reach. It also prevents the formation of tartar.
* Drink water regularly. Water is a wonderful cleanser of the mouth apart from myriad other benefits that it offers.
* Avoid pungent food (especially before a date)! Go slow on garlic and onions.
* Chew mouth fresheners. Sugar-free gum is one option – not only does it freshen the mouth, it helps remove food particles. It also aids the generation of saliva, our body’s natural mouthwash. Cardamom and clove are other good herbs to chew, especially after a meal.
* Regularly visit the dentist, at least twice a year. Keep sure that your mouth – teeth, gums and all – is in good shape.
Visual Courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/scented_mirror/