1. You need to drink more water. Chapped lips are the number one sign of dehydration and it cleanses the mouth of stagnant bacteria, making your breath fresher.

2. Brush your teeth as often as you like, preferably at least twice a day with a soft-bristled brush, and use sugarless gum in between meals or whenever you feel like you need to freshen up. Also, when brushing, don’t just focus on your teeth! The gums, inside of your cheeks, as well as the tongue, need attention, too. Don’t forget to floss! Afterward, try using a mouthwash that doesn’t have any alcohol in it – a dry mouth is a foul-smelling mouth. Also, replace that brush once every three to four months – sooner if the bristles are frayed or it just starts looking unappealing.

3. Don’t avoid your dentist – going to visit them twice a year can be a major asset and can help prevent stains from becoming permanent. Stains? Yes, teeth staining occurs when you consume coffee and tea, and can also occur when using tobacco products. If the stains are severe, you can get your teeth bleached. This is best done by a professional, but your dentist may be able to recommend a great at-home option. Remember that toothpaste is designed to remove stains and can harm tooth enamel, so be careful.

4. After brushing your teeth, lightly brush the freshly-rinsed toothbrush over your lips in a circular motion, this will exfoliate them, making them softer.  After rinsing, gently rub a hand towel over the lips to remove extra bits of dead skin and sugar. Apply a plain lip balm immediately after. Do this two or three times a week and you’ll see a huge improvement.

5. Moisturize! We cannot stress this enough. Keep lip balm, preferably one with natural, hydrating ingredients, in your pocket or purse and apply it several times a day – whenever you find yourself licking your lips or just feeling a little dry. Try to avoid licking your lips whenever possible, as this robs the delicate skin of whatever oil and moisture they have. There are enzymes and bacteria in your saliva that are made for breaking down food and they break down your lips, too.

6. Stop smoking. Like, today. Just do it. In addition to shortening your life span in some pretty gruesome ways (including, but not limited to, mouth cancer) and stinking up the environment around you, smoking also causes staining of the teeth, bad breath, and can make your mouth taste like ash.