Cupid is making his yearly rounds which means we’re ready to get all dolled up for the official day of love. While flawless makeup and romantic hairstyles may come to mind, paying attention to your breath is just as important for a romantic dinner date with bae or celebrating Galentine’s Day with your BFFs. Keeping your breath fresh is not only appreciated by the people you’re talking to (or smooching), but it’s good for your own oral health too. To help make sure your mouth is in tip-top shape for Valentine’s Day and beyond, below you’ll find five dentist-approved tips to prevent and get rid of bad breath. (Photo via quavondo/ Getty)

1. Remove plaque on the reg. It’s gross to think about, but after a 3-course meal, your mouth is coated in odorizing plaque. Lawrence Fung, founder of Silicon Beach Dental in Los Angeles, recommends brushing with an anti-plaque toothpaste to help dislodge the bad-breath causing buildup from your teeth and gums. Brit + Co Pick: hello Antiplaque + Whitening Fluoride Free Toothpaste ($5)

2. Don’t forget your tongue. Just like the rest of your mouth, your tongue is also a gathering place for plaque. Celebrity cosmetic dentist Marc Lowenberg of Lowenberg, Lituchy & Kantor in NYC recommends using a tongue scraper to remove plaque for fresher-smelling breath. Brit + Co: The Dirt Anti-Microbial Copper Tongue Scraper ($10)

3. Rinse with mouthwash. As beneficial as a quality toothbrush and paste combo can be, it never hurts to back up your oral health efforts with a quick swish of mouthwash. Lowenberg says to rinse your mouth twice a day with an ADA-recommended antiseptic mouthwash. Brit + Co Pick: ACT Mint Anticavity Flouride Mouthwash ($4)

4. Choose your drinks wisely. Sure, wine, whiskey, and tequila are worthy options on the cocktail menu, but if fresh breath is the goal, it’s best to steer clear. “Order a cocktail with vodka — it kills the bacteria in the mouth that causes bad breath,” says Lowenberg. “Also hold off on sugary mixers because they will bind to teeth and trigger odor-causing bacteria.” (Photo via Steve Lupton/ Getty)

5. Put a little parsley on your plate. According to Lowenberg, eating parsley regularly can help combat bad breath that may be a result of digestion. A study published in the Journal of Food Science shows that parsley— along with raw apple, spinach, and mint — can help naturally deodorize breath, making it a quick and easy fix to any foul odor. (Photo via Akepong Srichaichana / EyeEm/ Getty)

Follow us on Pinterestfor more beauty inspo and info.

Brit + Co may at times use affiliate links to promote products sold by others, but always offers genuine editorial recommendations.