A long day at work or school can result in some very not-so-fresh breath. Did you know that smelly foods aren’t the actual cause of bad breath, but it’s actually bacteria growing in your mouth?
These organisms feed on leftover food and dead cells, producing sulfur which makes an unpleasant smell. In addition, according to WebMD, the presence of sulfur contributes to dryness in your mouth and enables bacteria to multiply faster.
It’s easy to make your breath stay fresh when you’re at home and near your trusty toothbrush, floss, and mouthwash. However, when you’re on the go and have to eat a meal far away from your dental care products, what can you do to stay feeling fresh?
Disposable toothbrushes, portable mouthwash, and breath mints are a few options that will save your breath until you can get back to your bathroom sink.
But what if these tools aren’t on hand? Your next option is to eat and drink foods and beverages that are known to keep your breath fresh. Here are the top 6 foods for fresh breath that you need to incorporate into your diet.
1. Apples / Other Raw Fruits & Vegetables
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away”, but it can also keep bad breath away too! Apples are known as “nature’s toothbrushes” and can stimulate saliva production to wash away bacteria.
Also, the slightly abrasive nature of this fruit can also clean plaque off your teeth. And finally, the cool and fresh taste of the apple combined with its slightly acidic makeup can calm down and slow the growth of bacteria while masking odors.
Many other raw fruits and vegetables that are full of fibre like: carrots, celery, and bell peppers are good at stimulating saliva production and scrubbing your teeth clean. Fresh vegetables like red peppers are also high in Vitamin C, a nutrient that makes it difficult for bacteria to flourish.
2. Mint & Parsley
If you can’t grab a toothbrush, eating anything with mint in it will help your breath smell good. Whether it’s a mint tea, dessert, or sprig of mint you find as a garnish on your meal, ingesting this herb will revitalize your senses and freshen your breath. Other herbs like parsley also have odor-neutralizing effects, so it’s not a bad idea to munch on a sprig at the end of a meal.
Though it may seem counter-intuitive to eat something that smells like yogurt to improve your breath, there’s science behind yogurt’s breath-sweetening powers. Studies in Japan have revealed that the probiotics in yogurt, when consumed repeatedly for a period of about six weeks, reduced the amount of sulfur in the mouth. The good bacteria help balance your body to reduce the number of bad bacteria that make your breath smell.
4. Black Tea
Preventing tooth decay
While coffee and other acidic drinks like wine can increase the amount of sulfur in your mouth, black tea can be a helpful caffeine source. Black tea contains polyphenols, which can prevent bacteria growth and reduce the byproducts that bacteria release. There’s even evidence that points to black tea helping prevent tooth decay.
5. Pumpkin Seeds
Zinc is a mineral in which many people are deficient. However, it’s important for keeping your mouth clean and free from bacteria. This mineral has antimicrobial properties that get rid of the bacteria that cause bad breath.
There are some surprising foods that can help you get the zinc you need that are convenient to eat anywhere, like pumpkin seeds. If it’s difficult to fit in this kind of a snack, you can also be diligent in taking a supplement daily to keep your levels where they need to be.
6. Fortified Milk
For Vitamin D
Calming acid reflux
Many people enjoy a delicious glass of milk, so this one is an easy food to incorporate. Milk, when fortified with Vitamin D, not only helps you absorb calcium, but it can also fight mouth bacteria.
They can also calm stomach acids that are famous for causing discomfort with acid reflux. Since acid reflux is another source of bad breath by causing post nasal drip and odors to rise up from your stomach, curbing its symptoms can lead to better breath.
Honorable mention: Water
Drinking plenty of water should always accompany any of these natural breath freshening food choices. As we mentioned before, increased saliva in the mouth keeps your mouth cleaner by washing away bacteria. Water is also an excellent cleansing agent that prevents your mouth from becoming a dry place that harbors bacteria.
Using these natural foods to keep your mouth clean is ideal when you can’t make it to a toothbrush. However. when you need to get a deep clean, come in and see us for a thorough check-up and professional cleaning.
See Your Dentist
If you still notice problems with the smell of your breath, you may have a more serious underlying issue. Gingivitis and gum disease can contribute to bad breath.
If you want to get to the root of the problem, you should visit your dentist! At LA Dental Clinic, we offer a deep cleaning service, where we remove bacteria filled tartar from beneath your gums. Give us a call and get rid of your bad breath!