Foods that mask bad breath
(Jamaica Observer) Sunday, March 05, 2017
Maybe you shouldn’t have had those raw onions with your hamburger at lunch, because now you’re faced with bad breath all afternoon. Many people find they can’t hide what they ate because certain foods linger in their system, causing bad breath. Onions and garlic are probably the most common and most well known instigators of bad breath, or halitosis, but there are others.
The issue with foods like onions and garlic is that they contain pungent oils that get carried through your bloodstream to your lungs. When you breathe out, the pungent leftovers are exhaled too.
Fortunately, just as eating certain foods can cause your breath to be unpleasant, other foods can help mask bad breath — for a time.
“It will only be temporary,” notes Gerald P Curatola, clinical associate professor at the New York University College of Dentistry.
The following foods could provide relief for an hour or two, until you are able to attack the underlying cause — odour-producing bacteria in your mouth.
BAD BREATH BUSTERS
Foods that can help mask bad breath include:
Parsley is probably one of the most well known ways to treat bad breath. Its oils are what do the trick. Likewise, spearmint and cinnamon can help mask bad breath.
Some other herbs and spices that work for the same reason are coriander or cilantro, tarragon, eucalyptus, rosemary, and cardamom.
Green tea contains catechin, a powerful antioxidant that can fend off bacteria. Remember, bacteria causes the unwanted odour.
Some studies have shown that the live, active cultures in yogurt help reduce bad breath, Dr Curatola says.
If the yogurt has probiotics (good bacteria), it can overpower the bad, foul-smelling bacteria.
Apples and pears
“Fruits help with the production of saliva, which is essential to nourishing and rebalancing the natural, oral ecology of the mouth,” Curatola says.
Oranges, melons, and berries
These fruits, in particular, are rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C is not only helpful for keeping bacteria in check, but also helps combat gum diseases and gingivitis, which can also cause bad breath.
Celery, carrots, and cucumbers
These crunchy munchies encourage the production of saliva, the bacteria rinse agent. Â·
Almonds and other nuts
They work like fruits and vegetables.
“The fibre-rich content of fruits, vegetables, and nuts also acts like ‘tiny toothbrushes’ on teeth and has been shown to keep odour- causing bacteria from staining teeth,” Curatola says.
PRACTICE GOOD DENTAL HYGIENE
Food is really only a temporary solution to any bad breath problem. Most important thing to do is practise good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth for at least two minutes, twice a day, and floss daily. If bad breath is a problem, be sure to brush your tongue as well — that’s where odour-causing bacteria like to live, especially at night when your mouth is dry.
Make certain to get regular dental check-ups.
If bad breath is a persistent problem, talk with your doctor. It could be a sign of something other than the onions you had at lunch.
Dr Sharon Robinson, DDS, has offices at the Dental Place Cosmetix Spa, located at Shop #5, Winchester Business Centre, 15 Hope Road, Kingston 10. Dr Robinson is an adjunct lecturer at the University of Technology, Jamaica, School of Oral Health Sciences. She may be contacted at 630-4710. Like their Facebook page, Dental Place Cosmetix Spa, for an opportunity to take advantage of weekly special.