What's significantly more mortifying and socially unsatisfactory than the remaining parts of a spinach plate of mixed greens dotted over a toothy smile? Indeed, it's terrible breath.
Here are some ways to fight bad breath:
1. If you wear dentures, remove them at night and clean to get rid of bacterial buildup from food and drink.
2. Drink plenty of water and swish cool water around in your mouth. This is especially helpful to freshen “morning breath.”
3. Brush after every meal and floss, preferably twice a day.
4. Replace your toothbrush every two to three months.
5. Arrange regular dental checkups and cleanings.
6. Scrape your tongue each morning with a tongue scraper or spoon to decrease the bacteria, fungi, and dead cells that can cause odor. Hold the tip of the tongue with gauze to pull it forward in order to clean the back of the tongue.
7. Chew a handful of cloves, fennel seeds, or aniseeds. Their antiseptic qualities help fight halitosis-causing bacteria.
8. Chew a piece of lemon or orange rind for a mouth- freshening burst of flavor. (Wash the rind thoroughly first.) The citric acid will stimulate the salivary glands—and fight bad breath.
9. Chew a fresh sprig of parsley, basil, mint, or cilantro. The chlorophyll in these green plants neutralizes odors.
10. Try a 30-second mouthwash rinse that is alcohol-free (unlike many off-the-shelf products).
Mix a cup of water with a teaspoon of baking soda (which changes the pH level and fights odor in the mouth) and a few drops of antimicrobial peppermint essential oil. Don’t swallow it! (Yields several rinses.)
CRUNCH IT Raw crunchy foods clean the teeth. Apples contain pectin, which helps control food odors and promotes saliva production. Cinnamon is antimicrobial. Active cultures in yogurt help reduce odor-causing bacteria in the mouth. 1 cup apple chunks 1 cup grated carrot 1 cup diced celery ½ cup dried cranberries ½ cup crushed walnuts 3 to 5 tablespoons plain nonfat yogurt Ground cinnamon
PREPARATION AND USE: Mix the apple, carrot, celery, cranberries, and walnuts together in a large bowl. Add yogurt by the tablespoon to moisten the mixture. Sprinkle with cinnamon. (Serves two.) Save Your Breath!