What’s worse than being around someone with bad breath?
When you’re that someone.
Especially when you don’t realize it, and someone else tells you.
To be fair, it’s actually very hard to sense the smell of your own breath. That’s why it pays to surround yourself with honest, nonjudgmental people who’ll subtly tell you if you have foul breath.
Now, how do you fix bad breath?
If you have mouthwash or a mint on hand, great!
But if you’d like to save yourself a trip to the local store and money, take a look around your house.
Below, we share 10 simple bad breath remedies using items you probably already have at home!
10 quick bad breath remedies to try at home
1. Drink water
Whenever you feel your mouth getting dry, drink water (not juice or soda because those can dry your mouth out more).
Saliva helps keep your mouth clean and prevents smelly bacteria from thriving.
2. Rinse with warm salt water
Gargling salt water is a natural way to stop bad breath.
Create a mixture of 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of salt to every 8 ounces of warm water. Swish a swig of the mixture around your mouth for 30 seconds, then spit it out. Repeat as needed.
3. Chew on cloves
Cloves help freshen your breath instantly and fight off bacteria that cause cavities.
Simply suck on or chew a few cloves a few times a day.
Don’t use clove oil or powdered cloves because they may cause burns.
4. Apple cider vinegar
Onion or garlic breath? Get rid of these bad breath odors instantly with apple cider vinegar (ACV)!
Add a generous splash of ACV to a glass of water and switch it around your mouth. Gargle for 30 seconds, then spit it out.
5. Eat fruits and veggies
Did your know fruits and vegetables help freshen your breath?
Apples, celery, and carrots act as natural toothbrushes and help remove odor-causing bacteria from your teeth.
Oranges (vitamin C) help increase saliva production to fight bad breath.
6. Make your own alcohol-free mouthwash
Did you know alcohol dries out your mouth? And did you also know most over-the-counter mouthwashes contain alcohol?
As we mentioned earlier, dry mouth is associated with bad breath. That’s why store-bought mouthwashes don’t work for everyone!
Luckily, you can make your own alcohol-free mouthwash at home, and you probably already have the ingredients in your kitchen.
Here is a recipe for an all-natural, homemade, alcohol-free mouthwash:
- 1 cup of warm water
- 1/2 tablespoon of cinnamon
- Juice of two lemons
- 1 & 1/2 teaspoons of honey
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
Mix all the ingredients thoroughly and pour them into a container. The DIY mouthwash will stay good for up to 2 weeks.
7. Tea tree oil
There are a few ways to use tea tree oil to freshen your breath:
- Apply a few drops of tea tree oil on your toothpaste and brush your teeth.
- Skip the toothpaste and brush with tea tree oil (this doesn’t substitute for brushing with toothpaste)
- Mix a few drops of tea tree oil in warm water and rinse your mouth with it.
8. Floss your teeth
Flossing removes plaque buildup, bacteria, or food stuck between or on your teeth, which is often the culprit for bad breath.
When flossing, hug the floss around each side of your tooth.
9. Clean your tongue
Tongues can harvest all sorts of bacteria, making your breath smell bad.
To clean your tongue, gently scrub it with your toothbrush! Make sure to rinse your toothbrush and mouth afterward.
10. Chew gum
Gum helps stimulate saliva production, which helps clean your mouth of stinky bacteria and leftover food particles.
Chew sugar-free gum!
How can I permanently get rid of bad breath?
Generally speaking, the best way to permanently end bad breath is by having a good dental hygiene routine. That includes:
- Brushing your teeth after every meal
- Flossing your teeth at least twice per day
- Visiting your dentist every six months for a routine exam and cleaning
- Thoroughly cleaning any dental appliances at least once per day (retainer, aligner, denture, etc.)
If your bad breath persists, consult with your dentist for a medical diagnosis. In some cases, bad breath may stem from an infection, disease, medications, periodontal disease, etc.
Need a dentist in Durham, NC?
Contact Croasdaile Dental Arts!
We’ll help you combat smelly breath by finding the root cause instead of band-aiding over the symptoms.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in August 2017 and has been completely revamped for comprehensiveness and timeliness.