Halitosis (the technical term for bad breath) can ruin a first date as quickly as that plate of garlic fries. Typically caused by odorous food, indigestion, or bacteria growth, this invisible beauty blunder is both irritating and unhygienic. We list the best tips, tricks, and products to keep your breath as fresh and kissable as possible.
1. Battle Bacteria
Bacteria in your mouth produces sulfuric compounds, which are responsible for those foul smells. Ever wonder why you wake up with such bad breath? It's because your mouth is dry, and dead cells accumulate and decompose overnight (gross!). Saliva actually helps clean the mouth and washes away food particles, so rinse and brush first thing in the morning and right before you go to bed to remove germs growing around your teeth, gums, and tongue. Use toothpaste formulated with either stannous fluoride or zinc to combat the microorganisms. Stannous fluoride is a more expensive compound than sodium fluoride (a common toothpaste ingredient) and keeps tooth enamel resistant to bacteria longer. Toothpastes formulated with zinc bind to and neutralize the sulfuric compounds.
Many DIY breath fresheners can be found right in your very own kitchen. Beauties can chew on mint or parsley sprigs in a bind, but did you know that certain spices and seeds can also combat offensive breath? Add coriander, cardamom seeds, cinnamon, cloves, or anise seeds to any tea for a natural alternative that comes straight from your spice rack! If you like to clean your teeth with toothpicks, try coating the picks with a drop of peppermint or tea tree oil for a double-duty mouth freshener.
A salty meal, a cup of coffee, those onion rings you shouldn’t have eaten—bad breath emergencies can strike no matter where you are, so travel-friendly solutions are a must. Keep a pack of cinnamon mints, spearmint gum, or breath spray in your bag. Make sure everything is sugar-free since sugar actually contributes to bacteria growth. If all else fails, get yourself to a bathroom and scrape off the saliva from the back of your tongue, which harbors the most odor-causing germs.
Beautylish Tip: Besides wreaking havoc on the lungs and liver, tobacco and alcohol actually travel through the bloodstream in the lungs and are exhaled through your mouth, resulting in constant bad breath. Avoid!