We all know how foods like onion and garlic cause bad breath due to the pungent oils they produce. Fortunately, there are also foods that have the opposite effect. These foods can help bust bad breath, but only temporarily – like an hour or two. Nonetheless, this is already enough time until you are able to do something about the real cause – the odor-causing bacteria in the mouth.
We are all aware of the many health benefits green tea has, so it is not surprising that this wonder beverage can also fight bad breath. The bad breath-fighting ability of green tea is attributed to the chemical called cathecin. Cathecin is a powerful antioxidant that helps fight the bacteria that causes the foul odor. This compound is effective not only against odor-causing bacteria, but also against other harmful bacteria in the mouth.
In fact, according to some sources, green tea is more effective than mints in masking bad breath.
In addition to fighting bacteria, green can also reduce the amounts of volatile sulfur compounds in the mouth, which is the actual cause of the bad breath.
Parsley is another popular remedy to bad breath, next only to green tea. Its odor-fighting ability is due to a compound called chlorophyll, which is found mostly in green and leafy plants. Chlorophyll has a strong scent that follows the sulfur compounds all the way to the bloodstream and lungs, thereby masking the smell when you breathe.
Yogurt contains live cultures of good bacteria that can effectively combat the bad bacteria that cause foul breath. In addition, it can neutralize the volatile sulfur compounds, particularly hydrogen sulfide, produced by these bad bacteria. But to be more effective, you have to consume one that’s free of sugar.
Fibrous Fruits and Vegetables
Fibrous fruits help get rid of bad breath by mechanically removing bacteria much like brushing does. They also stimulate the production of saliva which helps wash away the odor-producing bacterial by-products. Apples, pears, carrots, celery, and cucumbers are the most effective for this purpose.
Nuts like almonds and walnuts work in pretty the same way as your fibrous fruits and vegetables because they are also loaded with fiber. Likewise, they are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids which can help reduce the amount of bacteria in the mouth.
Take note that while the foods listed above are effective in masking foul breath, they should not, in any way, be a substitute to your oral hygiene practices. The solution they provide is only temporary. The more permanent solution is (and always will be) brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day. When brushing your teeth, be sure to brush your tongue as well because it is where odor-causing bacteria thrive the most.
Furthermore, visit your dentist regularly for checkups and professional cleaning. If you’re bad breath remains persistent, your dentist will refer you to a medical doctor because the foul odor could be a sign of something else.