Embarrassing bad breath doesn’t exactly do wonders for one’s confidence; fresh breath is a definite must for all classy co-eds. You may be tempted to pop a mint after a spicy meal, but while mints may make your mouth taste fresh, they don’t actually do much for the smell. In fact the sugar in most gums and mints actually feeds odor-causing bacteria, ultimately worsening bad breath. Brushing and flossing after each meal is the best way to keep bad breath at bay, but that’s understandably not always a possibility for busy girls on the go. This doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite snacks; instead, try these 5 foods that actually improve breath.
1) Berries- Tangy berries are high in vitamin C, which inhibits bacteria growth that causes bad breath. In fact, on a larger scale, diets rich in vitamin C can prevent gingivitis and gum disease, major contributors to chronic bad breath.
2) Parsley- This tasty herb serves more than a decorative purpose on your favorite indulgent dish, thanks to its high concentration of chlorophyll. Chew on it after a meal to counteract garlic odors. No parsley in sight? Other herbs, like coriander, spearmint, tarragon, eucalyptus, rosemary and cardamom, are good substitutes.
3) Yogurt- Dairy doesn’t have the best reputation for fresh breath, but eating yogurt every day can actually reduce the overall level of odor-causing hydrogen sulfide present in your mouth. Just be sure to look for active cultures and avoid the kinds loaded with sugar. Vitamin D is an added bonus, another nutrient known for inhibiting the growth of bacteria.
4) Apples- This convenient fiber-rich fruit acts as a scrubber for your tongue, teeth and gums. Eating apples can help get rid of lingering food particles hiding in the crevices of your mouth, and their mild acidic nature fends off smelly bacteria. Apples can even remove plaque and stains from teeth to boot. The best compliment for clean and fresh breath is a healthy smile.
5) Celery- This veggie, like apples, is also high in fiber and acts as a temporary toothbrush to scrub away bad breath. Its crunchy and chewy properties encourage increased saliva production, which washes away food particles and prevents plaque build up.
These 5 foods will do a much better job of freshening your breath than gum or mints. Avoid other foods high in sugar to keep oral bacteria from reproducing. Also avoid coffee and alcohol; their drying effect reduces saliva production and allows foul bacteria to linger longer. Water is always a safe bet, as it acts as a cleansing agent. The simplest rule of thumb: if it’s healthy for your body, it’s probably good for your breath.