5 Foods to Combat Bad Breath

A woman combatting bad breath with food.

There’s nothing worse than that moment you realizing that your breath smells like your tuna lunch, stale coffee or worse. What you eat and poor oral hygiene are the two main causes of halitosis, or bad breath. When you think about it, the mouth is a dirty worksite: more than 600 kinds of bacteria live in the average mouth. Many produce smelly gases as they digest the tiny food particles stuck between your teeth and on your tongue. The best solution is proper oral-hygiene routine, which includes brushing, flossing, rinsing, tongue cleansing and regular visits to the dentist, is an important first step. However, sometimes you’re on the go and forget to carry your tooth brush with you. Think of these foods to help neutralize dietary acids.

5 foods that will combat bad breath

Munch on crunchy foods
Carrots, apples, celery – basically anything with fiber. Many carbs and proteins can get stuck in your teeth – even healthy foods like whole grain cereal or chicken breast. So follow a meal with a Granny Smith (feel the saliva kick in at the mention of it?) to cleanse the mouth. Sweet.

When your garlic breads or delicious onion-topped burger arrives with a few sprigs of parsley on the side, consider it a hint to freshen your breath. Chewing on the sprigs releases parsley’s pleasant, breath-freshening oils. Garnishes of fresh basil and rosemary work, as does coriander, spearmint, tarragon, and cardamom. You can chew on fresh herbs or make tonics by steeping them in hot water to create a tea.

Berries and Lemons
Eating berries, citrus fruits, melons and other vitamin C-rich foods create an inhospitable environment for bacteria growth. A diet rich in vitamin C is also is important for preventing gum disease and gingivitis – both major causes of halitosis. So if you can’t get through most days without indulging in foods that are less than breath-friendly, eat for prevention, which is even better than a cure.

Consuming half a cup of plain yogurt, twice a day can lower mouth levels of hydrogen sulphide (yes, that rotten egg smell). Plus, the vitamin D boost you get from dairy food like yoghurt diminishes unhealthy bacteria creating an unpleasant environment for bacteria growth. If you need to sweeten, xylitol is an excellent alternative to freshen breath and help reduce cavities too.

A bowl of yogurt and a bowl of plums on a table.

Yet another great reason to get your daily H2O. In general, water acts as a cleanser and encourages saliva production; swishing water helps rid the mouth of food particles that bacteria feasts upon. Keep a water bottle in your workspace – your colleagues will likely thank you for it!

Hope these 5 foods help you  maintain fresh breath. If you choose to go for chewing gum – make sure it’s sugar free or you’ll be seeing Dr. Sims or Dr. Urquhart sooner than you think 😉


Dr Christopher Sims
Latest posts by Dr Christopher Sims (see all)

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