Since most studies on the matter rely on self-reporting, it’s hard to know exactly how many people suffer from chronic halitosis—also known as bad breath. (Although it’s understandable why people might be hesitant to report that particular fact about themselves!) But at the very least, it’s safe to say that halitosis is a very common problem for a lot of people.
But even if you don’t experience it chronically, you can still experience an occasional episode of bad breath. Yes, even those who are diligent about practicing good oral hygiene and eating a healthy diet can have funky breath every once in a while. (I know, life is unfair that way.)
But the good news is that I’m here to help! (Well, I’m here to offer as much help as any one blogger can, anyway!) Today I’ll be sharing 11 simple and natural remedies for bad breath! Whether your bad breath episodes are chronic or occasional, these remedies can help you address the root causes of halitosis and send bad breath packing. :-)
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11 Ways To Fix Bad Breath Naturally
1. Chew On Fresh Herbs
You can chew on fresh herbs to help eliminate odors. Just chew on a fresh sprig of parsley, basil, mint, rosemary, thyme, or cilantro for a few minutes. Many believe that the chlorophyll content of these herbs helps neutralize unpleasant odors. (And regardless of how it actually works, replacing bad breath with a fresh, herbaceous scent certainly can’t hurt!) :-)
2. Rinse With Zinc
A zinc rinse may be just what the doctor ordered to keep bad breath at bay! According to a 2017 study, participants who regularly rinsed with a solution containing zinc saw more dramatic improvements in halitosis than those who used a placebo rinse. You can find mouth rinses with zinc on Amazon and elsewhere, and zinc supplements may help too.
3. Supplement With Probiotics
While bad breath can start in the mouth, in some cases it may begin as far down as the digestive tract! So improving your gut health with probiotics can potentially go a long way towards improving bad breath. Eat more probiotic-rich foods like live culture yogurt, kimchee, sauerkraut, and other fermented foods. Or you can opt for a simple probiotic supplement if you prefer!
4. Drink Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has the advantage of fighting two potential causes of bad breath. Firstly, drinking it helps with digestion, which can be useful for treating bad breath (as discussed above). And secondly, apple cider vinegar has natural antibacterial properties. This can help kill odor-causing bacteria that may be lurking in your mouth and between your teeth.
To use it, add one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water. Drink this before each meal, or gargle with it for 10 seconds following your meal.
5. Stay Hydrated
If you aren’t drinking enough water during the day, your mouth is likely drier than it should be. And a dry mouth is an ideal breeding ground for odor-causing bacteria! So drinking water regularly is crucial. You can also add slices of orange, strawberries, and kiwi to give yourself an extra dose of vitamin C. Water and vitamin C together will make your mouth a very unpleasant place for bacteria to live, which means bye-bye bad breath!
6. Don’t Skip Meals
Fasting—or just plain forgetting to eat—can cause your mouth to dry out, which is no good (see above for details.) Failing to eat could also lead to bad breath due to a buildup of stomach acid. So make sure you are eating enough!
7. Use “Nature’s Toothbrushes”
Snacking on raw, fibrous fruits and vegetables like apples, celery, and carrots can keep your mouth healthy! Chewing these fibrous foods scrubs plaque from your teeth, stimulates your gums, and freshens your breath. Snacking on these foods will also increase saliva production, helping to avoid dry mouth.
8. Drink Tea
In addition to drinking enough water, adding in a cup or two of green tea can have additional breath-freshening benefits. According to a 2012 review, green tea can improve halitosis (at least temporarily) thanks to the antibacterial properties of the polyphenols contained in green tea leaves. So drink up!
9. Try A Natural Mouth Rinse
Try this simple, homemade mouth rinse that’s packed with odor-fighting and antibacterial properties! Just add one teaspoon of baking soda to one cup of water, and add a few drops of peppermint essential oil. Shake or stir to mix.
To use it, swish the rinse mixture around in your mouth for 30 seconds, then spit it out. Store the remaining rinse mixture in an airtight container to use later.
10. Scrape Your Tongue
Another option for improving bad breath is to start using a tongue scraper. Tongue scraping may help remove dead skin cells, bacteria, and other nasties that can contribute to less-than-fresh breath.
11. Brush And Floss Regularly
And finally, having a good oral hygiene routine can take care of a lot of the causes of halitosis. Brushing and flossing help remove plaque and bacteria from your mouth, and there really isn’t any substitute for these practices!
Brush your teeth and tongue twice a day, morning and night, with a quality toothbrush. And floss once a day with good old dental floss too. Then not only will your breath improve, but at your next dental checkup, you won’t have to lie about flossing!
Still Struggling With Bad Breath?
If, despite your best efforts, you are still experiencing bad breath that just won’t go away, schedule an appointment with your dentist ASAP. Chronic halitosis can be a sign of a more serious health issue, which is not something you want to ignore.
Do you have a go-to remedy for fixing bad breath?