Natural ways to get rid of bad breath

Susannah Hickling

It’s well known that some foods and drinks— garlic, coffee and alcohol, for starters—can cause less than pleasant mouth odours. But what should we be eating and drinking if we want to banish halitosis?

Water

Aim to drink eight glasses of H2O a day. Not only is it good for hydration and your digestive system, it also flushes bacteria off your teeth and out of your mouth, giving you fresher breath and a lower risk of cavities and gum disease.

 

Ginger

Credited with the ability to dispense a huge range of health benefits, this tangy spice also increases an enzyme in saliva that breaks down smelly, sulphur-containing compounds, according to German scientists.

 

Apples

Chewing on raw apple can banish garlic breath, researchers from Ohio State University found. They concluded that the enzymes in the raw apple helped get rid of the smell, and then the phenolic compounds in the fruit were able to destroy the substances that cause the halitosis in the first place. Which just goes to show that an apple a day is beneficial in more ways than one.

 

Lettuce

The same study found that lettuce was also effective in deodorising garlic breath. Once again, it was better eaten raw.

 

Milk

More research from Ohio State University found that drinking milk with a garlic-laden meal could also help reduce whiffy breath. That might look odd on a date, of course, but worth bearing in mind! Whole milk worked best.

 

Yogurt

Japanese researchers found that volunteers who ate traditional, sugar-free yogurt twice a day had an 80 per cent drop in malodorous volatile sulphide compounds after six weeks. The vitamin D it contains is good for your bones too.

 

And finally…eat less

An Israeli researcher found that overweight people were more likely to have unpleasant smelling breath and the more overweight they were, the worse the problem was.