Two of the most challenging dental issues to face are crooked, misaligned teeth and bad breath. Both problems rob us of our self-confidence and often cause us to withdraw from daily interactions with others. The good news, though, is that both can be solved with the help of a dental professional.
In this article, we will focus on one of those two problems: bad breath, also called halitosis. We’ve broken down 10 of the most effective natural remedies for bad breath as well as the ways your dentist can help.
10 Effective Natural Remedies for Bad Breath
It’s no surprise that 90% of bad breath originates in the mouth. Bacteria are always present in the mouth and when you eat, bits of food remain behind in the spaces between your teeth. This is when bacteria goes to work, growing on this food. The result is foul-smelling sulfur compounds.
Some foods, like onions and garlic, lead to bad breath as they are digested. The sulfur compounds move into your bloodstream and when the blood circulates to your lungs, it affects your breath.
It isn’t difficult to tackle bad breath on your own and many at-home remedies for bad breath are helpful for your general health, too. Here are the top 10 natural remedies for bad breath:
#1 – Drink Water
The human body needs water to function properly and the general guideline is to drink six to eight glasses of water a day. Besides helping to keep your body hydrated, water also helps with bad breath.
The teeth and gums will be healthier because the water washes away bits of food, leaving nothing behind for bacteria to eat. It also dilutes the acid in your mouth which destroys the enamel on teeth. The fluoride in the water defends against acids, too, and reverses tooth decay. The end result is a healthier mouth that has less chance of producing bad breath.
#2 – Clean Your Tongue
Bacteria lurks on your tongue, too, which can lead to bad breath. You may not consider brushing your tongue, but it’s important! Make sure to include it as you brush your teeth several times a day. Rinse your mouth well and make sure to rinse your toothbrush when you’re done, too.
#3 – Eat Plenty of Fruits and Veggies
The road to fresh breath goes through fruits and veggies just like your overall health does. The best foods in this category to eliminate bad breath are apples, celery, and carrots because they help remove bacteria from your teeth, just like your toothbrush does. They also increase the saliva in your mouth.
Also, citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, grapefruits, and limes are loaded with Vitamin C, which helps promote healthy gums. All are effective home remedies to increase saliva production and fight bad breath.
#4 – Rinse With Warm Salt Water
This is an inexpensive, natural method to create a healthy environment in your mouth. Swishing with salt water stops bacterial growth and reduces plaque and inflammation in your mouth. This reduces your chances of getting sick or developing a sore throat, bad breath, cavities, or gum disease.
You can create your rinse with eight ounces of warm water and ¼ to ½ teaspoon of salt. Swish a mouthful for about 30 seconds and spit it out. Repeat as often as you like. Just remember not to swallow the mixture as salt can be dehydrating and isn’t healthy to ingest.
#5 – Swish or Drink Apple Cider Vinegar
Here’s another inexpensive way to get rid of bad breath: apple cider vinegar. Its taste is astringent, but it helps prevent the growth of odor-causing bacteria and balances pH levels.
You can drink a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar diluted with water before a meal to stop bad breath before it gets started. It is highly acidic so it helps your body digest food and prevents bad breath caused by indigestion.
If you want to get rid of onion or garlic breath, add a generous splash of the vinegar to a glass of water and swish it around your mouth. Gargle for 30 seconds, then spit it out.
#6 – Chew on Cloves (And Other Herbs!)
Open your pantry and pull out the herbs! For example, cloves help freshen your breath instantly and assist in the fight against bacteria in your mouth. You can carry some with you and suck on them or chew them during the day. One reminder: Don’t use clove oil or powdered cloves because they can cause burns.
Chewing on other fresh herbs that have a pleasant scent is an easy remedy for bad breath. Parsley, mint, basil, tarragon, rosemary, cardamom, or any other fresh herb with a pleasant scent can cover bad breath. This is an excellent trick to use just before a meeting or social event!
#7 – Brush or Rinse with Tea Tree Oil
You can also use tea tree oil to freshen your breath: By either brushing your teeth with it or mixing a few drops in warm water and rinsing with it. You still need to brush with your regular toothpaste, but the tea tree oil helps with bad breath.
#8 – Chew Gum
Chewing gum (especially minty gum) helps with cleaning away bacteria and any bits of food left behind after eating. Not everyone carries a toothbrush with them, so the gum helps stimulate saliva production and cleans your mouth until you can brush properly. Of course, it’s important to chew only sugar-free gum.
#9 – Make Your Own Alcohol-Free Mouthwash
That bottle of store-bought mouthwash in your bathroom probably has alcohol in it. Alcohol dries out the mouth which leads to bad breath. Luckily, you can make your own mouthwash with ingredients you may already have in your kitchen. Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, can effectively kill bacteria in the mouth.
For an all-natural, homemade, alcohol-free mouthwash, all you need to do is:
Add two teaspoons of baking soda to one cup of warm water. Swish in your mouth for at least 30 seconds before spitting it out.
#10 – Eat Yogurt
Yogurt contains healthy bacteria called lactobacillus that help combat bad bacteria in various parts of your body, like your mouth. Eat one serving (or more) of plain, nonfat yogurt daily to fight halitosis.
As you can see from this list above, you have many options close at hand when it comes to natural remedies for bad breath. It’s important to remember, though, that your dentist is another critical key to eliminating bad breath.
Dental Visits Are Still Key to Fighting Bad Breath
Two other essential tools in the fight against halitosis remain your regularly scheduled dental cleanings and a continuation of good oral hygiene habits. These habits include:
- Brushing your teeth after every meal.
- Flossing your teeth at least twice per day.
- Visiting your dentist every six months for a routine exam and cleaning.
- Thoroughly cleaning any dental appliances at least once per day (retainer, aligner, denture, etc.)
TLC Dental Center is ready to help you fight halitosis! We will set up a schedule of routine dental cleaning and exams that will help prevent bad breath, as you use some of the natural remedies at home, too! Contact us today to get started.