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Next to Body Odor, Bad Breath (or Halitosis) is probably one of the most embarrassing afflictions that an individual may have to deal with. The condition can leave you demoralized, sap your confidence, and may close social and professional doors even before it opens!
The underlying cause of bad breath is bacteria that are lying untreated at the back of your mouth, tongue and between your teeth. Here are a few natural home remedies you can rely on to fight bad breath:
1. Tea And Water
If you are inclined to drinking too much coffee, you should know that your beverage of choice may be the cause of your bad breath. Consider switching to tea instead.
Black tea (no milk!) reduces plaque and destroys bad breath-causing bacteria. Green tea has anti-bacterial qualities that also kill bacteria and prevent bad breath.
Keeping your mouth hydrated with frequent sips (or gargles) of fresh water to deal with dry mouth (xerostomia) can also help fight bad breath!
2. Baking Soda
Baking Soda is a great way to re-balance the pH levels inside your mouth, thus denying bacteria one of the conditions required to survive and thrive.
- Dipping your brush in some Baking Soda, either before or after brushing with regular toothpaste, and brushing deep and slow inside your mouth and your tongue
- Dissolving a teaspoon of Baking Soda in a glass of water and rinsing your mouth (gargling) with the solution a couple of times a day
Caution: Excessive use of Baking Soda can erode the enamel in your teeth. So use moderately and with caution!
Cinnamon contains Cinnamic aldehyde, an essential oil that helps fight bad breath by killing bacteria from our saliva.
- Boil a teaspoon of powdered Cinnamon in a glass of water, strain well and use it to gargle/rinse the mouth a few times a day
TIP: If you find the pure Cinnamon rinse too strong, you could dilute it with a hint of honey or a few drops of lemon juice to make it more palatable!
4.Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree Oil is highly effective in reducing growth of fungi and bacteria inside the mouth.
- Create a home-made mouthwash with one teaspoon each of Tea Tree Oil, Lemon Oil and Peppermint Oil in a glass of water. Rinse several times a day using the solution
TIP: There are also toothpastes available containing Tea Tree Oil. Using one of those products may be a preferred way to use Tea Tree Oil to fight bad breath.
Lemon has acidic qualities that prevent bacteria from growing inside our mouths, thereby enabling the breath to smell fresher.
- Add a teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice (not from processed stock!) to a glass of warm water, and throw in a pinch of salt into the mix
- Gargle/rinse daily for a couple of minutes
Caution: Go easy on the concentration of lemon juice. Acidic foods (like lemon) can damage the enamel of the teeth. So use cautiously and with moderation!
Chefs all over the world use Parsley to temper the effect of other high-sulfuric ingredients. It can therefore be effectively used to fight sulfur forming bacteria that fosters bad breath.
- Dip some fresh (not dried!) parsley leaves in some vinegar and chew on the solution for a couple of minutes to kill bad breath instantly
- Alternately, grind a handful of fresh parsley leaves and some water in your blender and use it to sip away dryness (and bacteria!) from your mouth
Caution: Sometimes the Parsley may leave a greenish tinge on your teeth. Rinse with water if that happens!
Related Article: Receding Gums, what you can do about it?
The Mother Of All Home Remedies!
While all of the above home remedies are highly effective in fighting bad breath, there’s still no substitute for healthy lifestyle and good old fashioned dental hygiene.
- Choose toothpastes like TheraBreath Toothpaste, Arm and Hammer PeroxiCare, BreathRx , Desert Essence, or Arm and Hammer Sensitive Freshening Toothpaste
- Choose alcohol-free mouthwash for longer-lasting results
- Choose a healthy lifestyle – quit smoking, moderate alcohol consumption
- Switch to a healthy diet – Choose fruits like oranges, grapefruit and cherries, as well as cheese and yogurt as part of a balanced diet
Brush at least twice a day with high-quality toothpaste, floss regularly, and you should be able to keep bad breath at bay!
You'll be amazed at how much you can get out of natural plants using common herbal medicine techniques. If this topic interests you, check out this website for more happy herbal hacks!