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8 Foods (And 1 Drink) to Neutralize Bad Breath

Grandmother & Grandson Enjoying Breakfast

Hindering Halitosis

Bad breath, or halitosis as it’s also known, is a common disease that creates an unfavorable odor in our mouths and breath. While correct oral hygiene is the easiest way to prevent bad breath, there are foods with special properties that can impact how your mouth smells.

For your convenience, we’ve created a list of dietary supplements that can help counteract the bad-breath-causing bacteria in your mouth.

Ginger

While ginger is most commonly used to settle an upset stomach, it also mitigates bad breath. Ginger contains a compound that activates an enzyme in saliva. Once activated, the saliva is able to break down bacteria that emits the unpleasant odors associated with bad breath.

You can combine pressed or powdered ginger with lemon juice in warm water to create an easy mouth rinse that’ll leave your mouth feeling refreshed.    

Cheese

A study published in the journal of the American Academy of General Dentistry found that eating cheese increased the pH in the patient’s mouth and decreased their risk of tooth decay. As you chew cheese, it also increases the saliva production in your mouth, fending off smelly bacteria. Furthermore, cheese contains proteins and calcium which helps fortify tooth enamel.

Almonds

Almonds and other nuts are packed full fiber. Fiber is excellent for counteracting bad breath because it functions like a bunch of mini toothbrushes, clearing bacteria and debris from your teeth as you chew. Foods high in fiber are advantageous because they keep odor-inducing bacteria from staining your teeth.

Yogurt

Yogurt—specifically, probiotic sugar-free yogurt—is high in calcium and protein. This means that yogurt strengthens your teeth, improving your oral health. The probiotics are a slew of beneficial bacteria that decrease your risk of cavities by overwhelming the bad bacteria in your mouth.   

Minty Herbs

Minty herbs such as parsley and mint carry a strong scent that (when chewed) can produce a deodorizing effect. They also contain chlorophyll, which has anti-bacterial properties.

Fennel Seeds

Eating fennel seeds as a cure for bad breath originated in India. The seeds aim to nullify offensive odors and support healthy digestion. The seeds increase the amount of saliva that your body produces, rinsing the bacteria from your mouth.   

Crunchy, Leafy Greens

Leafy green vegetables such as kale and spinach contain a pigment called chlorophyll, which acts as a natural fumigator for your mouth. Introducing leafy greens into your diet can significantly decrease the foul odor associated with bad breath. These greens are also high in calcium, which strengthens your teeth’s enamel.

Raw Fruits & Citruses

Any fruit that is high in vitamin C is ideal for fending off the nasty bacteria that cause bad breath. Melons, berries, and other citrus fruits contain lots of water, which hydrates your mouth and kills bacteria. Vitamin C has also been proven to contest gingivitis.     

Water

While it’s not technically a food, water is perhaps the easiest remedy for bad breath. It keeps your mouth moist and it rinses debris from your teeth, preventing a buildup of bad bacteria. Drinking water also stimulates saliva production, and saliva is our mouth’s first line of defense when fending off bacteria.  

Author
Dr. Alfano

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