Before you start looking for remedies for bad breath, it’s important to find out what’s causing it. In most cases, it’s poor oral hygiene and tooth decay.
Diet and lifestyle habits like smoking can also cause bad breath.
Once you find the root cause, here are 15 effective home remedies for bad breath to try.
1. Good oral hygiene
Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss just as often. This gets rid of food particles from your mouth, which reduces bacteria build up.
In addition, use an antibacterial mouthwash in the morning and evening to kill bacteria that causes bad breath.
2. A healthy diet
Reduce the amount of processed foods in your diet especially those high in sugar. Sugary foods increase bacteria and plaque in your mouth, which causes bad breath.
Add more vegetables and fruits to your diet.
3. Green tea
A study actually proved that green tea kills off bacteria that cause tooth decay and bad breath.
When you drink green tea, the antioxidants kill and rinse away bacteria in your mouth. Green tea also prevents plaque from forming, which keeps your breath fresh for hours.
4. Black tea
Black tea has the same bacteria-killing effect as green tea.
Yes, water is an effective home remedy for bad breath.
Not drinking enough water can cause or worsen bad breath. Your mouth gets dry and bacteria and plaque build up on your teeth, tongue and gums.
Hydrating frequently keeps bacteria from accumulating. It rinses your mouth, washing away teeth-damaging acid and plaque.
6. Sugar free yogurt
A study showed that eating yogurt can significantly reduce bad breath. The good bacteria in yogurt – called lactobacillus – fights the bad bacteria that causes bad breath.
Just don’t go for the sugary stuff at the store. Sugar free yogurt is the best.
7. Home made mouthwash
If you don’t want to buy mouthwash from the store, you can make your own at home using baking soda.
Sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda, is very effective at killing oral bacteria, which reduces bad breath. Just add a couple teaspoons to a glass of warm water and gurgle.
You can also use vinegar. The acid will kill bacteria in your mouth and prevent plaque build-up. Add two table spoons of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water then gurgle for around one minute.
If you eat spicy food or food with lots of onions or garlic, drinking a glass of milk right after can counter the ‘garlicky’ odour.
9. Sugarless gum
Chewing gum increases saliva production, which ensures your mouth doesn’t get dry. Saliva washes away bacteria and food particles.
Look for sugarless gum containing xylitol, a sugar substitute. It’s been shown to help with bad breath and teeth cavities.
10. Fruits and Vegetables
Vitamin C is an acid and bacteria don’t do well in an acidic environment.
Eating foods rich in vitamin C, of which fruits and vegetables have the most abundant supply, reduces bad breath and protects your teeth from decay.
If you can eat them raw, even better. It dislodges food particles stuck between teeth.
11. Herbs and spices
Certain herbs and natural spices such as basil, parsley, cloves, fennel seeds and anise are known for their mouth freshening effect.
Add them to your food especially if you also plan on using garlic.
Ginger neutralises sulphur compounds, which are the main cause of bad breath. You can enjoy its benefits in form of ginger tea or by adding it to food.
13. Essential oils
Essential oils not only smell good, some of them also have antibacterial effects that can counter the bad bacteria in your mouth.
Some of the best essential oils for bad breath include thyme, lemon, tea tree, clove and parsley.
To use these oils, add a few drops to a cup of water and then gurgle.
14. Hydrogen peroxide
A hydrogen peroxide mouth rinse can help with gum inflammation, oral infections and tooth decay. It can also reduce bad breath.
Mix one part 3% hydrogen peroxide with two parts water. This creates a diluted concentration that’s safe for your mouth.
Gurgle for 30 seconds to a minute.
Honey has natural anti-microbial properties. It fights the oral bacteria that causes bad breath.
Mix baking soda and honey in a glass of water for best results.