How to cure bad breath

Suppose you conduct a ‘breath test’ as you make your way to an important meeting, and you fail. Don't worry—the following quick fixes can help to minimise halitosis (the term for bad breath).

Halitosis or halitophobia?

If your gums, tongue, and teeth are harbouring odour-causing bacteria, you'll want to adopt some rigorous daily hygiene habits to inhibit them.

That's when special rinses, attention to toothpaste and regular brushing and flossing can begin making bad breath good.

Read more: What is bad breath?


Natural remedies for bad breath

  • Drink plenty of water
    Coffee, beer, wine and whisky leave residues that infiltrate the digestive system, so that for some time afterward each breath expels traces of them back into the air.
  • Try natural breath fresheners
    Chew up a few sprigs of parsley or garnish your sandwich with parsley, it's a great breath-saver.
  • Cloves, fennel and anise seeds are also effective breath fresheners
    Mix together a small amount of each and carry a small bag of them so you can chew a few after meals—that is, if you don't mind the rather strong taste.
  • Lavender is an effective mouth freshening herb
    Mix a few drops of lavender essential oil into warm water and gargle.
  • Try sea salt for healthy gums and fresh breath
    Rinse your mouth with a teaspoon of salt dissolved in warm water after flossing. Salt has mild antiseptic properties, helping to kill bacteria that cause bad breath.
  • Avoid highly spiced foods
    Including garlic, onions, chillies, salami, strong cheeses or smoked foods. They recirculate through essential oils left in your mouth.

Read more: How do you get bad breath?


Toothpaste and mouthwash for bad breath

Use a toothpaste that contains tea-tree oil, a natural disinfectant. If you can't find it in a pharmacy or supermarket, look for it in health food shops.

Gently brush the top of your tongue with your toothbrush when brushing your teeth, to get rid of the food particles and bacteria that can cause bad breath.

Make your own mouthwash. Try this easy recipe:

  • Mix together 1 tablespoon witch hazel, 1 teaspoon glycerine and 5 drops peppermint essential oil with 100ml water
  • Rinse your mouth with the mixture after brushing your teeth, or whenever you want to freshen your breath


Try this cleansing mouthwash to ward off offensive breath 

Stir 1 teaspoon powdered cloves into 1 cup white vinegar. Shake before gargling the mixture.


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