Afraid of morning breath or scaring someone off with the smell of your third cup of coffee? While good dental hygiene is the best way to prevent bad breath, the foods you put into your body can also impact how your mouth smells.
Most people know to avoid onions or garlic on a first date, but the odors in the food aren’t the culprits for bad breath. The bacteria in your mouth are to blame. As they break down leftover food particles and dead cells, they produce sulfur compounds responsible for bad breath. We’ve put together a few foods you can add to your diet to help fight bad breath.
Crisp fruits and veggies like celery, cucumbers, pears, and apples are a 2-in-1 fix for bad breath. Not only do they help your mouth produce saliva, which helps clean out the odor-producing bacteria, but the crunch also acts like a scrubber on your teeth, removing food particles so there’s less for the bacteria to break down.
Yogurt with probiotics contains good bacteria. Studies have shown that these good bacteria can lower the levels of sulfite compounds in your mouth that are responsible for bad breath. Just be sure to avoid yogurt with added sugars!
The polyphenols in these herbs act like antioxidants, helping break down the sulfur compounds in your mouth. Hungry for garlic? Combine it with parsley or basil to keep the smell from lingering long after dinner is over.
Studies have shown cherries remove the smell of methyl mercaptan, another one of the bad breath-causing gases released by bacteria in your mouth. Lettuce works the same way.
This age-old beverage contains catechin, a natural antioxidant. The catechin in green tea can help fight the bacteria in your mouth that are causing bad breath in the first place.
Chewing sugarless gum loosens both food and dead cells from your teeth, which are what your mouth bacteria need to create bad breath. Without anything to digest, you’re in the clear. Look for gum sweetened with xylitol, a healthy sugar alternative that naturally inhibits mouth bacteria.
The vitamin C in melons and citrus fruits naturally turns your mouth into a place that’s not friendly to those bacteria that cause bad breath. Bad for the bacteria, good for you.
Chlorophyll’s not technically a food, but you can find this pigment in leafy green vegetables or in liquid or supplement form at your local health food store. Chlorophyll serves as a natural deodorizer, making it a perfect add to your diet if you’re looking to stop bad breath.
More commonly used to treat an upset stomach, ginger also neutralizes bad breath. Combine pressed ginger with lemon juice in warm water for an easy, at-home mouth rinse.
Perhaps the easiest and most readily available solution for bad breath, water often goes overlooked. But by keeping your mouth moist and rinsing particles from your teeth, you can keep bad bacteria at bay.
Of course, fighting off bad breath is just one part of your smile. If you’re ready for a straighter smile you’ll love, consider SmileDirectClub invisible aligners. SmileDirectClub clear aligners are 60% less than braces and eliminate the inconvenience of in-office visits. Plus, the average customer sees results in just 6 months.