It's not something we expected but wearing face masks in public and while traveling to work on public transport has become the new normal.
Keeping safe and protecting ourselves against COVID-19 is so important. One of the main ways we can protect ourselves and others is by wearing a face mask or covering.
Unfortunately there's a common side effect of protecting ourselves by wearing a mask and it's known as 'mask breath' (bad breath caused by wearing a mask or covering).
According to our dentists wearing a mask actually makes us more aware of our bad breath - which we might not have usually noticed.
"When a mask covers both the nose and mouth, the concentration of any bad breath is increased, allowing us to smell it," dentist Dr Edwin Chng, the director of medical group Parkway Shenton told CNA. "Without the mask, even if one has bad breath, he or she may not notice it."
If you're worried about mask breath there's a couple of ways you can treat it.
Wearing a mask can make you breathe faster, and breathe through your mouth instead of your nose. This can cause dry mouth and lead to less saliva to wash away food particles and moisten your mouth. Dry mouth can often lead to bad breath.
Experts say that keeping your fluids up will help the mouth produce more saliva, leading to a fresher mouth and breath. Making an effort to breathe through your nose and exhale out of your mouth will also help.
It's important to take care of your oral health with the correct oral hygiene at home paired with regular dentist visits.
Don't forget to floss daily and brush your teeth twice every day for two minutes. Take note of the oral health recommendations from your dentist.
If you're concerned about your bad breath you might also like to use a fluoride mouthwash such as Savacol.
If your bad breath doesn't seem to be going away or you notice it's exceptionally bad you should visit your dentist and hygienist to have your teeth and gums checked and cleaned. If it's been a while since your last dentist visit and you're experiencing bad breath while wearing a mask you should book an appointment as soon as possible to make sure your bad breath isn't a symptom of a more serious health concern.