Better Breath, Quick!

Staying smoochable means fighting bad breath where it starts: usually food particles left in the mouth after a meal and the resulting bacteria. Check out these surefire ways to fight the funk.

1. Brush, floss, scrape
The problem: Like gums and the crevices between teeth, your tongue’s grooved surface traps sulphur-dioxide-producing bacteria.

Quick fix: The American Dental Association recommends brushing at least twice and flossing once each day, but to knock out icky smells before they start, brush and floss immediately after eating. And scrape the tongue surface three or four times post-meal with a nonporous tongue rake. Follow up each mouth-cleaning exercise with a thorough swish of water.

2. Pucker up
The problem: Though lips are much smoother than your gums and tongue, even the slightest creases can trap food particles and microorganisms. Plus, sticky lip tissue becomes prime real estate for odorous bacteria.

Quick fix: Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily to keep your lips hydrated and whisk away lingering particles. And apply all-natural lip balm.

3. Eat well
The problem: Dairy and pungent foods like onions and garlic make breath stink.

Quick fixes: Oregano, parsley, and sweet basil neutralize odors. The antimicrobial properties of cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon bark also stymie microbes, while offering powerful flavors that improve odor. Also, a high-fiber fruit or vegetable, such as apples, celery, and pineapple contain enzymes that break down odor-causing bacteria and churn saliva, which quashes bacteria.

Delicious Living is the go-to resource for the natural and organic lifestyle, helping readers eat well, live green, and stay healthy. Visit for more articles and free recipes.

By Melaina Juntti


Danuta Watola
Danuta W5 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Michele Wilkinson

Thank you

Robert O.
Robert O6 years ago

Great tips and reminders, thanks!

Charlene S.
Charla D6 years ago

Green tea is a proven natural breath freshener and helps reduce plaque buildup and strengthen enamel. It also has numerous other health benefits.

Bente S.
Bente S7 years ago

Tounge scraping is good!

Poet Dancer
Poet Dancer8 years ago

Thanks Milaina Juntti for the interesting info.

But allow me to correct one misconception.

Onions and garlic do Not create or cause bad breath (even though your granny told you so).

What causes the breath to be bad is when you eat garlic and onions that have been in contact with oil (fried).

If garlic and onions are taken steamed or raw, they actually act as enzymes and build up your immune system.

Garlic is a natural antibiotic.

Smile :)

Marian Pearn
Marian Pearn8 years ago

My favorite tongue cleaning tool is a wet turkish wash cloth. It rakes the crud out of my tongue's crevices, relieves my dragon-mouth taste and probably improves the smell.

Pamela C.
Pamela C8 years ago

One of the best investments in dental health I make is using a daily floride rinse. The results are not immediate and dramatic, but it has made a big difference over the years.

Elizabeth Irving
Elizabeth I8 years ago

I love coffee and the little buzz it gives me...
Unfortunately afterwards, I have bad breath, plus it--and black tea--cause staining over time. I brush my teeth with toothpaste first thing in the morning, but then use a bit of baking soda on the brush, especially on the front teeth (Don't fret: I checked with my dentist; baking soda is non-abrasive on tooth enamel. Then I swish around a tablespoon of peroxide for about 30 seconds and spit. This tastes disgusting, but I don't need mouthwash. The stains are gone and the anti-bacterial quality of the soda and peroxide interaction eliminates bad breath. My tongue and mouth tissue are also clean. Also because of this, I haven't had canker sores for years...

Julieta S.
Julieta S8 years ago

Do not quit onion nor garlic; the first's chemical compounds are believed to have anti-inflammatory, bacteriostatic, anticholesterol, anticancer, and antioxidant properties such as quercetin, and helps on osteoporosis (by destroying osteoclasts); the sencond one is known for helping on heart disease, atherosclerosis, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, cancer, also prevents complications of diabetes mellitus, it's a known antibacterial and even helps with intestinal worms... And they're both great for comon colds and coughs... And almost all recipes has them... :D