Finding foods that help bad breath can be quite easy and you can experiment by trying different combinations of foods. However, foods that help bad breath can sometimes be hard to find depending on your dental health, especially if you are suffering from chronic halitosis.
For this reason, we’ve researched and we will share the best foods to help your bad breath. Whether you have “morning breath” or you just want to improve your self-confidence or your breath for a date, we’ve got you covered.
Bad breath can negatively impact your social life. In fact, while you might get used to it and not notice it anymore, your friends, partner, or family members can eventually avoid you for this reason. This might cause stress while going out socializing and, for this reason, your social life will suffer.
Although if you suffer from a chronic bad breath problem then I would highly recommend that you look at ways of eliminating this problem in the long term instead of relying on short-term fixes.
How Can Food Help Bad Breath?
Most people wonder how to decrease bad breath and are actually surprised when mentioning food. But, our diet actually plays a big role when it comes to dental health, fighting bad bacteria, and even helping with morning breath.
Obviously avoiding smelly food and brushing our teeth regularly can help. However, there are foods that help bad breath (read – Halitosis) and it’s important to know why.
According to the National Institutes of Health, 90% of bad breath cases are caused by our dental condition, the bacteria present in our mouth, and the food we eat. Additionally, the same research revealed that, even if your dental health is perfect, tongue coating can have a big impact on halitosis.
For these reasons, eating and drinking the right foods in addition to properly cleaning your teeth is an essential way to reduce bad breath. With this in mind, let’s jump into the best foods that help bad breath.
7 Foods that Help Bad Breath
There are certain foods that can highly improve your breath, whether in the morning or throughout the day. Of course, some are known to improve our overall health, but some others aren’t. These are the best foods to help with bad breath:
1. Raw Fruits and Vegetables
Raw fruits and vegetables are beneficial to your overall health and, of course, to your breath as well. For instance, including fruits and veggies like apples, pears, carrots, or even tomatoes in your diet will certainly help.
Raw fruits and veggies help produce saliva and it can clean the bacteria in your mouth that causes bad breath. In addition, they are rich in fiber which definitely is an advantage.
According to research by the NIH, lettuce, and apple can highly help to fight bad breath caused by garlic. If you’re a garlic lover, eating lettuce and apple immediately after will fight bad breath.
2. Parsley and Basil
Both parsley and basic contain natural chemicals (polyphenols) that greatly help fighting bad breath. Just like raw fruits, the NIH studied the effect of parsley on bad breath and found out that it’s an excellent remedy.
In addition, both are great alternatives to garlic in dishes.
3. Probiotic Yogurts
Probiotic yogurts are another food that can fight bad breath and more specifically the bacteria that causes it. Eating and drinking probiotic (sugar-free) yogurts at least twice per day can significantly lower the levels of bacteria.
4. Citrus and Melons
As mentioned above, raw fruits and veggies are important foods to help bad breath. On top of that, however, it’s important to mention citrus and melons. In fact, they are both very high in Vitamin C and that is essential to help your mouth smell better.
Just like other foods high in Vitamin C, they can prevent halitosis-causing bacteria to spread, and therefore help with bad breath. Lastly, they also help prevent other oral health problems.
Ginger is an incredible food to boost your immune system and lower sugar levels. But, on top of that, it can also help to fight bad breath. It acts as a stimulator for an enzyme in your saliva and it decreases the sulfur found in the bacteria that causes bad breath.
We recommend adding ginger to fresh fruit juices, smoothies, and even to add it to your DIY mouthwash.
Cinnamon is a miracle ingredient to help bad breath that you should consider. The spice in cinnamon contains an essential natural oil that is able to fight the bacteria in your mouth and, therefore, decrease bad breath as well as “morning breath”.
Other than that, chewing cinnamon sticks is one of the best home remedies to fight bad breath.
7. Green Tea
If you want to eliminate morning breath or bad breath from your daily life, green is definitely one of the best options. Other than having great benefits for your mouth, it also helps lose weight, prevents cardiovascular disease, and even protect the brain from aging.
For example, if you don’t like chewing on raw fruits like apples, then you could eat other types of foods like probiotic yogurts or ginger. If you like eating foods with strong odors then you should consider chewing on parsley or basil immediately after.
Of course, other than having these particular foods, there are others that you should avoid. Let’s dig deeper into that in our next point.
5 Worst Foods for Your Breath
Other foods that help bad breath include coffee. It has been reported that drinking a few cups of black coffee each day can make your halitosis worse. In fact, it stimulates the production of volatile sulfur compounds in your mouth.
If you are looking for a quick and easy way to get rid of bad breath then you might have already heard about the worst foods for your breath. In order to decrease Halitosis, there are two things that you can do: one is to stop eating the foods below that create bad breath, and the other is to change your diet completely.
Onions are one of the first smelly foods you can think of, and it definitely is bad for your breath. In fact, onions are very high in sulfur which can create bad breath for days.
Garlic is another one of the bad foods that you should avoid if you want to stay away from bad breath. While garlic is actually good for your health, it contains lots of sulfurous compounds which makes your breath very bad. Once they enter your bloodstream, the sulfur will only leave your body through your lungs, which of course, will make you feel the taste of garlic for days.
Coffee is the first drink that most people have in the morning. However, if you wake up with morning breath, coffee will make it even worse. Coffee is good, it can wake you up, help with productivity at work, and more. However, coffee dries your mouth and, therefore, slows down your saliva production, which leads then to bad breath.
To sum up, if you want to avoid bad breath, choose green tea or herbal tea over coffee.
Other than being bad for your overall health, sugar is also one of the worst foods for your breath. As research already proved, sugar is a powerful source of bacteria and it can cause bad breath. If you crave sugar, we recommend getting sugar-free chewing gums or sweet herbal tea like Rooibos tea that won’t damage your breath.
Yes, unfortunately, cheese is bad for your breath. As much as cheese is delicious and full of calcium, it is also generally packed with sugar. As we mentioned above, sugar is one of the worst foods for your breath and, therefore, is cheese.
These are the most common foods that you should avoid if you want to stay away from bad breath. Obviously, these are also bad for your breath when cooked, and not only when eaten raw or uncooked. For instance, if you eat coffee beans, they will still stop producing saliva and, therefore, be bad for your breath.
Other 5 Ways to Help Fighting Bad Breath
Other than eating good foods that help morning breath and staying away from those that worsen it, there are other ways to help fight bad breath. While changing your diet and some of your habits is certainly beneficial, the recommendations below are great alternatives.
1 Brush Your Teeth and Tongue After Eating
Brushing your teeth after eating is certainly one of the most beneficial ways to help bad breath as well as keep a good dental condition.
According to Mayo Clinic, using toothpaste with antibacterial properties has proved to reduce bad breath odors. In addition, their same research revealed that our tongue is a bacteria nest. For this reason, brushing our tongue regularly can lead to a significantly better breath, especially if you’re a heaving coffee drinker or smoker).
2. Use Mouthwash
Other than making your breath fresher, using a mouthwash can get rid of the bacteria that cause bad breath. Also, make sure to choose a mouthwash that can kill the bacteria and germs and don’t just cover the bad smell.
3. Drink Plenty of Water
Water is an essential drink that can bring lots of benefits to our health and to our daily life, including help with bad breath. Drinking 2 liters or more of water every day will help you fight bad breath washing away the bacteria and unwanted food particles.
Other than that, drinking enough water will ease your digestion, prevent constipation, and even normalize blood pressure. As mentioned previously, avoid coffee. While the main ingredient in coffee is water, it doesn’t count as water intake and, rather, can dry your mouth out and that will make your breath bad.
4. Stop Smoking
Smoking cigarettes will definitely cause bad breath as well as harming your immune system and overall health. In fact, one of the most common reasons of Halitosis is smoking, which dries your mouth and causes bad breath as soon as you wake up in the morning.
5. Check Your Gums and Keep Them Healthy
Gums play an important role in our mouths, and it’s important to keep them healthy. Bacteria accumulate inside our gums and, therefore, eventually create an odor and feed Halitosis.
Going regularly to the dentist and consulting an orthodontist if you suffer from gum disease (periodontist) is key to get professional advice and help bad breath, as well as cleaning your gums.
More to know:
How to get rid of bad breath naturally?
Why is morning breath so bad?
This is because when you are sleeping, the activity of your tongue, the breakdown of proteins, and the absorption of fatty substances that help lubricate your gums happen at a slower rate. The proteins in saliva that help to break down oral bacteria are also broken down along with the fatty substances.
According to research by the NIH, and more specifically Madeleine S. Deming, an expert at their Clinical Center, morning breath is generally due to bacteria on both the tongue and teeth. Bacteria in our mouth contain sulfur, and having a dry mouth can cause that bacteria to increase, making our breath worse.
That particular bacteria in our mouth smells bad and, therefore, makes your mouth smell bad. If you’re wondering why your mouth smells like onion or rotten eggs in the morning, it is probably due to the sulfur.
However, morning breath can also be caused by other issues. For instance, you might suffer from gum disease, tooth decay, or even lung infections. If eating these foods, quit smoking, and avoiding coffee has no impact, we recommend you to visit a healthcare professional or orthodontist to discover any hidden issue.
The Bottom Line
This was everything you needed to know about morning breath, the foods that help bad breath, and the ones that make it even worse.
Of course, and as mentioned above, Halitosis can be caused by different factors that aren’t related to our diet. If changing your routine and diet doesn’t help, make sure to visit your dentist and orthodontist.
To conclude, it is important to take care of your overall dental health, drink plenty of water, eat raw fruits and vegetables, and limit your coffee intake.