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Bad breath can do a number on your self-esteem and relationships. While dental hygiene plays a major role in fighting dragon breath, your diet helps support a healthy mouth. If you suspect your breath could be better, read on to learn about what causes foul odors and how adding these foods to your daily diet will make you more confident with fresher breath.

What Causes Bad Breath?

Bad breath stinks…literally. Halitosis, or bad breath, is an unpleasant odor of the mouth. Dry mouth, tobacco use, coffee, dental hygiene, and medications are the most common causes of less-than-pleasant breath.

Ever feel like you stink for hours after eating something deliciously laden with garlic or onion? Food-related bad breath occurs when bacteria and meal debris have a chance to remain between the teeth, on the tongue or lips, and in the gums. These particles remain and emit a foul odor.

If you have healthy salivary production, your mouth is already fighting the battle against bad breath. Saliva removes the tiny bits of food from our mouths, but when a patient suffers from dry mouth, often caused by prescription medication or aging, there is less fluid available to wash away debris.

Even under normal circumstances, saliva can’t keep a mouth healthy on its own. The smell from things like coffee and garlic are particularly difficult to clear away without support. Brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash finishes off the job by scrubbing teeth and gums and removing remaining debris.

Other times, bad breath is a symptom of oral health issues. While coming to see us is a great way to diagnose and treat your individual needs, add these foods to your diet to naturally scrub your mouth and increase fluid to help relieve coffee-breath and non-chronic bad breath.

3 Foods That Fight Bad Breath

1. Crisp and Crunchy Fruits and Veggies

Munching on an apple, a pear, celery, or carrots will naturally increase your saliva production. The juice from fruits and vegetables whisk away bacteria and debris from between the teeth and gumline. These tasty treats also have fiber that works like nature’s toothbrush to scrub the teeth and tongue free of smelly residue.

Which fruit or vegetable has the most impactful effect on your breath? The apple. You could even say, an apple a day keeps bad breath away.

2. Yogurt with Probiotics

Probiotics are great for your digestive system, starting with your mouth. Probiotic yogurts’ beneficial bacteria help fight the bacteria in your mouth that cause bad breath. Choosing a sugar-free variety and eating two servings a day can lower bacteria in your mouth substantially.

3. Basil, Parsley, and Other Leafy Greens

Eating a tasty salad with probiotic yogurt-based dressing is a winning recipe for fresh breath. Herbs like parsley and basil contain polyphenols, micronutrients found in plant-based foods, which naturally eliminate powerful food odors like garlic. These herbs also have enzymes and acids that neutralize odor.

Leafy greens are a healthy way to combat a not-so-fresh-mouth. While basil and parsley fight to chemically eliminate odor, the chlorophyll in greens masks bad breath. In fact, you’ll often find chlorophyll in products that promote fresh breath.

Don’t Let Bad Breath Bring You Down

It’s probably no surprise that a healthy diet helps support fresh breath. Try eating fruits and vegetables with every meal and opt for easy snacks like apples, carrot sticks, and single-serving yogurts.

Increasing your water intake can also improve your breath. Carry around a reusable water bottle and you may find yourself sipping water more frequently throughout the day. You’ll also find that your mouth feels fresher.

Still worried about your breath? Make an appointment for a cleaning and dental exam today.

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