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How to Avoid Airplane Breath

You’ve been on a plane for nine hours. The inside of your mouth tastes like some combination of morning breath (thanks to that three-hour nap you just woke up from) and the remnants of your delightful reheated airline dinner. You’re afraid to open your mouth, lest your breath knock your seatmate unconscious.

While a mint might temporarily help the cause, Dan Askin recommends a couple of more powerful mouth-cleaning products:

“Colgate Wisps are disposable mini-toothbrushes that provide a quick and easy mouth-freshening option when you can’t brush your teeth for real. The brush head has a freshening bead that releases a mouth cleaning liquid when you scrub, and a pick on the opposite end provides a floss option. It requires no water to use, and the ingredients are safe to swallow (except for the brush itself, of course!).

“Another product of choice is Listerine PocketMist, introduced to me as part of a hotel’s complimentary in-room toiletries. This is Binaca for the modern age — in a smaller key-chain-sized container and with a more potent punch. You can literally feel the bacteria being singed away.”

Askin also suggests fruit to cleanse the palate, including Granny Smith apples, lemons and limes. And, of course, there’s always the old standby: mint gum, which pulls double duty for air travelers by freshening breath and easing pressure on the ears during takeoff and landing.

For more advice, including tips on keeping your face, hands and clothing clean while traveling, see Travel Hygiene Tips: Staying Fresh on the Road.

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