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Aug 28

Beat Bad Breath: How to Eat Your Way to Fresher Breath

It’s always embarrassing to be caught with bad breath. But let’s face it, bad breath happens, and it happens to everyone. Fact is, most people don’t carry a toothbrush and floss everywhere they go. It’s just not that realistic. So instead of focusing on brushing and flossing more, we want to share in this blog an easier and perhaps more practical way of keeping your breath fresh. So let’s get to it!

If You Can’t Brush, Just Eat!

Our suggestion to help against bad breath is….? EAT. Yes, we literally mean eat. Food plays a critical role in the cause of bad breath. But on the contrary, they can also play a role in keeping your breath fresh. The key is to know how to distinguish between the good foods and the bad foods, in terms of fresh breath that is.

Let’s take a look at some of the obvious bad foods like garlic, onions, and coffee. These are breath killers. But why? The biggest reason for garlic and onions is the overwhelming odor that naturally occurs in them. High odorous foods get absorbed in your lungs and bad breath is exhaled. For coffee, it’s the so-called after taste. Coffee dehydrates your mouth, which decreases saliva flow – a big cause for bad breath.

Foods to Consider for Fresher Breath

The food you eat plays a huge role in affecting your breath. If bad breath thrives in odorous and dry mouth conditions, the game plan is to identify foods that produce the opposite affect! Here is a list of great foods to eat that will keep your breath fresh longer.

Apples and Spinach


If you can’t avoid eating garlic, a great way to mitigate the sulfur producing smell of garlic is by mixing in apples or spinach. The polyphenol compounds contain in apples and spinach is great at breaking down the smelly sulfur in garlic, which helps reduce the odor. For example, a hearty meal like pork chops and apples go great together. Pair it with a side of garlic mash potatoes and spinach and you have a winner! If you prefer something lighter, a spinach salad with sliced apples and pears is great on your health and breath!

Apples can also be eaten at the end of any meal, almost like a desert. The crunchy texture acts like a toothbrush, scraping away food particles from the surface of your teeth. Apples also promotes saliva flow, which helps rinse away any remaining food in your mouth.

Cherries and Lettuce

Cherries in a glass bowl on the wooden table

Next time you’re debating on what to have for lunch, consider having a fresh salad with grilled chicken and cherries. You’ll definitely keep the calories down, but more importantly, cherries and lettuce are great allies when it comes to beating bad breath. That’s because they help neutralize an odorous gas called methyl mercaptan that is produced as our mouth continues to break down the itty bitty food particles left behind after meals. A good tip to consider is snacking on cherries at your desk after lunch breaks. That will help eat those odors!

Berries, Melons, and Citrus Fruits

Berries, melons, and citrus fruits are high in Vitamin C, an element that odor causing bacteria can’t thrive with. These fruits also contain lots of water, keeping your mouth well hydrated and smelly-free. berriesSo the next time you’re out eating, make sure you end the meal with a nice serving of fruits!

Basil and Parsley

Basil and parsley are awesome odor eaters. This is because chlorophyll is nature’s deodorizer, and basil and parsley have loads of chlorophyll. Although commonly used in Italian cuisines, basil and parsley are gaining popularity with the trendy juicing phenomenon. Many people are now juicing after workouts or even to replace meals. green-juiceThe “green juice”, or the Greenie offered at Nekter contains loads of parsley.

Green Tea

Coffee vs Tea is one of the more classic food rivalries. Some prefer coffee and some prefer tea when it comes to caffeine loading. But when it comes to keeping your breath fresh, tea, especially green tea, wins by a landslide. green-teaFor starters, unlike coffee, tea hydrates your mouth and promotes saliva flow, which helps improve your breath. Green tea also contains polyphenols, an antioxidant that destroys sulfur related odors, which is a smelly gas produced in our mouth. Tea is a great way to end a meal. It helps with digestion and keeps your breath stay fresh longer.

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Written by Dr. Kim H. Nguyen
Dr. Kim Nguyen

Owner of Mint Dental OC and is a leading dentist in Southern California.

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