Eating Away at Bad Breath

There are many foods that contribute to bad breath — garlic, onions, horseradish, canned fish, and others — but you might be surprised to know that certain foods improve your breath. If you find yourself checking your breath fairly often, adding these foods to your diet might give you more confidence if your problem is minor.

Foods to Improve Bad Breath

  • Green Tea — this drink contains natural antioxidants called catechins. These antioxidants fend off bacteria that cause bad breath. Green tea also includes other kinds of antioxidants called polyphenols. Studies show that polyphenols also work well as bad breath remedies.
  • Parsley and Basil — these herbs also contain polyphenols to help keep away bad breath, and they’re abundant in chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is one of the pigments responsible for photosynthesis in plants. It’s the primary pigment that makes most plants look green. Small amounts in natural form (green, leafy vegetables like these two, for instance) help to mask the particles our noses detect as bad breath.
  • Ginger — within this rhizome is a compound called 6-gingerol. It stimulates an enzyme in our saliva that helps break down sulfur compounds — a common source of bad breath. Although ginger ales, ginger snaps and ginger chips are popular sources, they often contain significant amounts of sugar and insignificant or no ginger (substituting artificial flavorings instead). Cooking it in a meal, brewing ginger tea, or eating unsweetened chips of dried ginger are typically safer for your oral health.
  • Raw Fruits and Vegetables — crunchy fruits and vegetables promote saliva production when you eat them, rinsing your mouth with essential minerals and leaving better breath behind. Citrus fruits offer vitamin C, which fights gingivitis. Some onions and cheeses contain methyl mercaptan, a gas that causes bad breath. Studies show that cherries remove the smell of methyl mercaptan. Many fruits and veggies are rich in fiber, acting like natural “toothbrushes” as you chew them.
  • Probiotic Yogurt — the bacteria in a mere three to six ounces of probiotic yogurt helps to combat the bacteria in your mouth that cause bad breath.
  • Water – it rinses your mouth every time you drink it, making your teeth, tongue, and oral tissues less inviting for bacteria that cause bad breath. You also have fewer cravings for destructive foods, and drink less coffee or dehydrating, sugary sodas if you drink water often.

More Tips for Fresh Breath

Along with eating and drinking healthy, a good, regular, daily practice in oral hygiene helps keep bad breath at bay. Brushing twice daily, along with flossing and using mouthwash as necessary, removes significant portions of destructive bacteria that not only cause bad breath, but also endanger your teeth and gums. It also gets rid of the food particles that nest between teeth and provide a feast for stink-causing bacteria.

Perhaps you have more questions about what foods and drinks serve as bad breath deterrents? Or maybe you’ve heard of other beneficial foods and would like a professional opinion? If so, please give the Yuba City Dentistry Group a call, or schedule an appointment here on our website. Instead of letting bacteria that cause bad breath eat away at hour health, you can “eat away” at them!


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I barely felt the shots Dr. Cheema used to numb me before a deep cleaning. He was kind, efficient, and a genuinely nice person! Thank you.