Top 5 Foods to Ward Off Bad Breath
Bad breath is an issue that affects all of us. Bad breath can be caused by the various foods we eat or poor oral hygiene. Whatever the cause is everyone wants to know how to keep it away. Everyone should begin with a proper oral hygiene regimen which includes brushing, flossing, rinsing, tongue cleansing and regular visits to the dentist. Even with proper dental hygiene you still may develop bad breath from time based on what you ingest.
Top 5 Foods To Keep Bad Breath Away
1. Chew Fresh Herbs. Parsley has long been known to mask bad breath. But did you know other fresh herbs can also mask bad breath. Coriander, spearmint, tarragon, eucalyptus, fennel, rosemary and cardamom are all excellent at fighting bad breath. You can choose to chew on fresh herbs or place the fresh herbs in hot water (as a tea). These fresh herbs will go a long way to hiding that garlic you had at lunch.
2. Active Cultures. Active cultures as in yogurts. Recent studies found that a serving of yogurt every day can reduce the level of odor causing hydrogen sulfide in the mouth. The active cultures in yogurt also cuts back on bacteria in the mouth. Accumulation of plaque and development of periodontal disease were reduced in the study’s yogurt eaters as well. Another plus is that the American Diabietic Association has found that ingesting the recommended dosage of vitamin D (also found in yogurt) creates an environment that is inhospitable to bacterial growth. If you choose to eat yogurt avoid the high sugar varieties. Greek yogurt actually has the benefit of higher protein than regular yogurt, and is great for people who are sensitive to cows milk, as it is generally made from goats milk.
3. Foods with Crunch. These include apples, carrots, and celery. This basically includes any fiber-rich fruit or vegetable.The crunchy foods will help reduce the build up of plaque and bacteria in the mouth. These crunchy foods will also increase saliva production which will keep the mouth moist and constantly rinse out food debris that can cause bad breath. So a great snack following a meal is a nice juicy apple to cleanse the mouth.
4. Mask the bad breath. Sugarless gum should not be considered a replacement for brushing your teeth after a meal, but is a good habit if you can’t brush after a meal. Unfortunately we are not always able to brush after every meal. But in a pinch chewing sugarless gum can freshen breath (masking odors) and is another way to increase saliva production to rinse away plaque and bacteria. Mints can mask bad breath as well, but only briefly. Remember to always choose sugarless when you can. Be sure to thoroughly read the label, mints such as tic tacs are almost entirely sugar , yet they label the sugar content as zero!!! The sugar content is based upon weight, and one tic tac, (although almost entirely sugar) weighs less than the amount that needs to be labeled. Look for the asterisk (*), and read the bottom label to see what it means.
5. Vitamin C rich foods. Eating berries, citrus fruits, melons and other vitamin C rich foods create an inhospitable environment for bacteria growth. A diet rich in vitamin C is also is important for preventing periodontal disease and gingivitis,(major causes of bad breath).
Bonus Bad Breath Tip
Avoid white sugars. Sugars allow for bacterial growth in the body and especially the mouth. Sugary beverages (soda, gatorade, juice, redbull), dry your mouth out, and a dry mouth is a haven for bacteria. Water is always the best option, tea is great too, especially green tea, but don’t add sugar. If you do drink sugary beverages follow them with plenty of water to rinse your mouth and neutralize the acids.
Bottom Line to Ward off Bad Breath
So after a meal, when you are unable to brush, think of the list above to keep your bad breath at bay. You do not have to live with bad breath. In most cases, bad breath is easily taken away with proper oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist.
Marielaina Perrone DDS