9 Home Remedies for Bad Breath

bad breath remedy
Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Jupilu

Bad breath can happen to anyone, so it’s useful to have a few natural remedies on hand to combat it. In this article, we’ll cover nine simple home remedies for bad breath.

Bad breath (or halitosis) can be embarrassing and a blow to self-confidence. While we’ve likely all experienced bad breath, chronic sufferers may have tried store-bought mouthwash or gum, but get only temporary relief.

If you suffer from bad breath, it’s best to try to get to the root of the cause first, starting with dental hygiene. Ensure that you visit your dentist every six months for a check-up, as well as brushing your teeth after eating and flossing at least once a day. If the dentist gives you the all-clear, you may want to consult your doctor to check for infection or to check if any medication you’re on may be causing your bad breath.

In the meantime, try some of these home remedies to banish your bad breath and get your mouth smelling sweet again.

1. Chew Sugar-Free Gum to Help Reduce Bad Breath

Chewing gum increases saliva production.
Chewing gum increases saliva production.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / davidgaigg)

Chewing gum can prevent a dry mouth and therefore bad breath because it encourages the production of saliva and can also assist in removing food particles that are stuck between your teeth after eating. Ensure gum is sugar-free, as gum containing sugar tends to just give temporary bad breath relief and it can actually make dental hygiene worse because it increases plaque production and puts teeth at risk of cavities. Find out more about what chewing gum is made of and how to make natural gum.

2. Stay Hydrated To Stop Smelly Breath

Adults should drink 8 glasses of water per day.
Adults should drink 8 glasses of water per day.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / cocoparisienne)

Another way to avoid a dry mouth and increase saliva production is to stay hydrated. It is particularly important to stay hydrated with water and not soda or other sweet drinks which will affect dental hygiene and possibly make bad breath worse. Adults should try to drink at least eight glasses of water a day to keep the body and mouth hydrated. Remember that a dry mouth is particularly common in the morning, so take a sip of water when you wake up to get the saliva flowing again.

3. Make Dental Hygiene a Part of Your Daily Routine

Poor dental hygiene can cause bad breath.
Poor dental hygiene can cause bad breath.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / endlesswatts)

As mentioned above, poor dental hygiene could be the cause of bad breath so having a good dental care routine every day can help to keep bad breath at bay. Start by brushing your teeth twice a day, or after every time you eat, if possible. Ensure that each tooth is brushed individually in a circular motion in the front and back. After brushing, floss between your teeth to prevent plaque from building up. 

Don’t forget about your tongue! It can be a magnet for bacteria which gives off a bad stench as it decomposes. When brushing your teeth, simply brush your tongue with your toothbrush in a vertical motion. Alternatively, invest in a tongue scraper (available on Amazon**) which is a “U” shaped tool, designed to reach all parts of the tongue. 

4. A Salt Water Rinse can Help Bad Breath

Rinse your mouth out with salt water.
Rinse your mouth out with salt water.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / mkupiec7)

Make your own salt water rinse at home and gargle it to prevent bad breath. Simply mix half a teaspoon of salt with one cup of warm water. Take a sip of it and swirl the water around your mouth for about thirty seconds and then spit it out. This could be done as part of your dental hygiene routine.

5. Tea Tree Oil Can Be Used to Fight Bad Breath

Tea tree oil has antimicrobial properties.
Tea tree oil has antimicrobial properties.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / irakudryavtseva)

A study in 2016 found that tea tree oil is effective in fighting bad breath due to its antimicrobial properties. There are a few ways to use tea tree oil against bad breath. It can be incorporated into your oral hygiene routine, simply put a few drops of tea tree oil on your toothbrush and then brush your teeth and rinse. Alternatively, make a mouth rinse by mixing a few drops of tea tree oil in a cup of warm water, then take a swig of it and rinse your mouth out with it for about thirty seconds, and then spit it out. It is a good idea to do these things before regular brushing, as the taste may not be pleasant

6. Cloves Can Combat Bad Breath

Chewing cloves will make your mouth smell sweet.
Chewing cloves will make your mouth smell sweet.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / abuyotam)

Cloves smell lovely and sweet and are good at combatting cavity-causing bacteria. They can be chewed during the day, as a natural alternative to chewing gum, or they can be sucked like candy. When the essence of the clove has entered your mouth, spit the remains out (don’t swallow them). Alternatively, make a mouth rinse by mixing a teaspoon of ground cloves in boiling water and simmering for five minutes.

7. Try a Homemade Mouthwash to Beat Bad Breath

Make a homemade mouthwash with lemon juice
Make a homemade mouthwash with lemon juice
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Jaro_N)

There are a huge amount of mouthwashes available on the market, but these tend to cause only temporary relief from bad breath and alcoholic mouthwashes tend to dry the mouth out, further adding to the problem. It’s possible to find alcohol-free mouthwashes in the store, or even better, make your own homemade natural mouthwash. 

Simply add half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon, half a teaspoon of baking soda, the juice from two lemons, and one teaspoon of honey (vegans can skip this ingredient) to a cup of warm water. Mix well with a spoon and store in an airtight bottle, it can be used for up to two weeks.

Check out some other DIY mouthwash recipes.

8. An Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse Can Banish Bad Breath

Bacteria don't like the acid in apple cider vinegar.
Bacteria don’t like the acid in apple cider vinegar.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / MikeGoad)

Apple cider vinegar works to combat bad breath from food odors such as garlic or onion. Instead of avoiding foods containing these ingredients, try an apple cider vinegar rinse instead. Vinegar is acidic and bacteria that cause bad breath cannot grow in these environments, making it a great way to fight smelly breath.

Simply mix two tablespoons of store-bought or homemade apple cider vinegar with one cup of water and rinse your mouth out with it for about thirty seconds, before spitting it out.

9. Chew on Crunchy Fruit and Vegetables to Stop Bad Breath

Chewing raw vegetables might help with bad breath.
Chewing raw vegetables might help with bad breath.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / LubosHouska)

Crunchy raw vegetables such as carrots and celery sticks and fruit such as apples work as natural toothbrushes, as the abrasive action when chewing these hard foods helps to remove trapped particles from the teeth. Fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C such as oranges, red bell peppers and broccoli work at creating an unfriendly environment for bacteria to grow in and increasing saliva production, thereby reducing bad breath.

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