Most people assume that after they eat, no matter what they consume- it will affect their breath in a negative way.
While it’s obvious that eating onions and garlic will contribute to bad breath, lesser-known culprits are foods that are found in many people’s daily diets. These include starches, refined foods, and candies. They all increase plaque formation, which in turn makes your breath stink.
The good news is, there are actually certain foods and drinks that can help your body fight bad breath. Let’s take a look at seven of the best bacteria-busting foods.
1.) Citrus Fruits
First, citrus fruits that are high in vitamin C are great at getting rid of the bacteria that causes bad breath. This is because bacteria cannot thrive in environments that are high in vitamin C. In addition, citrus fruits have a high water content, which helps to hydrate your mouth and keep bacteria at bay. As an added bonus, vitamin C assists in fighting gingivitis.
Keeping hydrated is an essential part of fighting halitosis (the medical term for bad breath). This is because dry mouth creates an environment in which bacteria thrive. Water acts as a cleanser that encourages saliva production, which is crucial for cleansing your mouth of food particles and bacteria. The next time you finish your meal, follow it with a cool glass of h20.
Ginger isn’t only good for upset stomachs– it also has the effect of neutralizing bad breath. We recommend using pressed ginger combined with lemon juice mixed in equal parts with warm water. This creates a great natural at-home rinse to keep any bad odors away.
4.) Green Tea
Next, green tea is great at fighting bad breath because it’s high in polyphenols, which are antioxidants that fight the growth of bacteria and also help reduce sulfur compounds. One downside of green tea is that it can stain your teeth. To reap the benefits of it without staining, green tea extracts can be taken as a supplement– or you can drink it with a straw.
5.) Leafy Greens
As a general rule of thumb, if a food is good for your overall health, it will be good for your dental health, as well. Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, and kale are great for your overall health as well as your oral hygiene. Green vegetables keep your internal pH levels balanced and alkaline levels low, which in turn help to prevent dry mouth.
Finally, apples are a wonderful choice for keeping your oral hygiene in check. This is mostly because of their natural detergent properties. When you bite into an apple, you’re pushing plaque away from your teeth and eliminating the food particles that cause bacteria in your mouth.
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While it’s not ideal, one of the best things you can do for your breath is to brush your teeth and tongue after every meal. When foods get trapped in the pockets surrounding your teeth, halitosis can develop as bacteria grows– which can lead to gum disease.
It’s also important to remember to see us twice a year for an appointment. If it’s time for your bi-annual cleaning, schedule it today.
Dr. Randall Burba is an American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry accredited dentist, with a practice in Salem, Massachusetts. He considers himself an artist–with teeth and beyond! In his free time, he often paints, draws and has a passion for woodworking.