Whether you’ve got a first date or a big job interview, bad breath — or “halitosis,” if you want to get fancy — can make quite a bad impression. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to use your diet to make your bright smile smell better.
Good dental hygiene is the best way to prevent bad breath, but the food you eat can also make a major impact. We all know onions or garlic are a no-no if you’re looking to kick halitosis to the curb, but what causes bad breath goes deeper than stinky foods. The bacteria in your mouth, rather than the odours in the food itself, produce sulphur compounds responsible for bad breath as they break down leftover food particles and dead cells.
With these simple bad-breath remedies, you can help clear out those bacteria — These foods should help you fight that bad breath!
1&2. Raw fruits and veggies
Crunchy fresh fruits and veggies, including apples, pears, carrots and celery, help produce saliva, which cleans out the odor-producing bacteria in your mouth. Plus, they’re rich in fiber, so they act as natural toothbrushes as you eat. If you opt for apples, you’ll get a triple dose of bad-breath prevention: Apples help neutralize the bad-breath odors caused by raw garlic. The more you know!
3. Probiotic yogurt
Yogurt with probiotics contains good bacteria and can help combat the bacteria that is one of the causes of bad breath. Those who eat three ounces of sugar-free yogurt twice a day for six weeks have lower levels of bacteria-causing compounds.
4. Parsley and basil
Both of these herbs contain polyphenols, natural chemicals that studies have shown work as bad-breath remedies. They’re also heavy on chlorophyll. If you’re craving the zest of garlic but don’t want your mouth to pay the price, parsley and basil make a tasty substitute flavour combination — and a good way to nip bad breathe in the bud.
Studies have shown cherries remove the smell of methyl mercaptan, a bad-breath-causing gas that occurs naturally in foods, including onions and some cheeses. Even lettuce has the same effect, crazy!
6. Sugarless Gum
Chewing gum helps to loosen and remove both food and dead cells from your teeth, which are what bacteria need to create bad breath. Sugar-sweetened gum, though, can promote further dental decay — so try gum sweetened with the natural alternative xylitol. So chew away!
7. Foods That Fight Bad Breath!
The healing power of Vitamin C is well-known, and it’s as effective in your mouth as anywhere else. Citrus fruits, melons and other foods high in Vitamin C help prevent halitosis-causing gingivitis and other oral health issues.
Ginger contains a compound called 6-gingerol, which stimulates an enzyme in our saliva that helps to break down sulfur compounds in the mouth. Try combining pressed ginger, lemon juice and warm water for an easy, at-home mouth rinse.