Bad breath can be a common and frustrating problem that nearly everyone experiences from time to time. For some, it’s worse than others. It can be the cause of social isolation and self-consciousness, lowering one’s confidence and ability to interact with others. Getting close to people, contributing to conversations and even partaking in the smallest social interactions can be frightening. The impacts of bad breath can be socially crippling.
The Mayo clinic, dentists and oral hygienists around the world highlight that the foundation for a clean mouth and fresh breath is regular brushing and flossing. These actions clean out all the little pieces of food that get stuck in your teeth and stimulate bacteria growth.
Most of the time, however, the teeth don’t play as big a role in bad breath as one might imagine. The main cause, instead, is the tongue. The tongue harbors all kinds of bacteria that can result in bad breath. In fact, some specialists recommend that the best way to test yourself for bad breath is to lick your hand, allow the saliva to dry, and smell.
It may not be entirely surprising to learn that what we eat and drink can play a big role in how our breath smells. There are some foods and drinks out there than can have a great impact on oral hygiene by giving your breath a sweet smell all day long. If you’re practicing good oral hygiene but still can’t kick the stink, here are some of the foods you should try.
Water – For some, simply drinking more water may be all that’s required for fresher breath. Proper hydration keeps the mouth and throat moist, washing away food particles and smelly bacteria. Next time you drink a glass of water, pay attention to how much fresher your mouth feels as opposed to when you drink a sugary beverage.
Apples – Apples are more than just a sweet, crunchy fibrous snack; they can also help freshen breath. They cause the mouth to produce more oxygen-containing saliva, which naturally combats odor-causing oral bacteria.
Vitamin C-Rich Foods – Chili peppers, oranges, broccoli, strawberries and other vitamin c-rich foods have been shown to stop odor-causing bacteria from growing in the mouth. Furthermore, they have been shown to neutralize foods that make breath smell bad, like onions and garlic.
Greek Yogurt – Sugar-free Greek yogurt with active and live bacteria cultures has been shown to reduce bacterial waste products in the mouth called hydrogen-sulfides.
Healthy Carbs – Sometimes when people adopt low-carb diets it can result in bad breath. This is because your body produces ketones as it burns fat for energy. Ketones are then released from the body through urine, sweat, and sometimes breath. Eating healthy carbs, like whole grains or oats, can combat this.
Cinnamon – Not only does cinnamon smell and taste great, it also helps fight bad breath. No wonder it’s such a popular gum flavor! The spice contains oil that has been shown to kill odor-causing bacteria in the mouth.
Green Tea – A Daily Mail report showed that green tea lowers levels of odor-causing sulfur compounds found in bacteria. In addition, the antioxidant flavonoids found in green tea keep bacteria from sticking to your teeth.
If you’re concerned about bad breath, take a look at your diet, and see how it may play a role. Try consuming more of these foods, and watch your confidence grow.
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