Since most studies on the matter rely on self-reporting, it’s hard to know exactly how many people suffer from chronic halitosis—also known as bad breath. It’s understandable why people might be hesitant to report that particular fact about themselves, but at the very least, I think it’s safe to say that halitosis is a common problem that affects many people.
But even if you don’t experience it chronically, you can still experience an occasional episode of bad breath. Yes, even those who are diligent about their oral hygiene routine and maintain a healthy diet can have funky breath every once in a while. (Life is unfair that way!)
But the good news is that I’m here to help—as much as any one blogger can, anyway—because today I’ll be sharing 11 simple and natural remedies for bad breath. Whether your bad breath episodes are chronic or occasional, these remedies can help you address the root causes of halitosis and banish bad breath.
11 Easy Natural Remedies For Bad Breath
1. Chew On Fresh Herbs
You can chew on fresh herbs to freshen your breath, such as a fresh sprig of parsley, basil, mint, rosemary, thyme, or cilantro. Many believe that chewing on herbs for a few minutes activates the chlorophyll the herbs and helps neutralize unpleasant odors. (Regardless of how it actually works, replacing bad breath with a fresh, herbaceous scent certainly won’t hurt!) 🙂
2. Rinse With Zinc
A zinc rinse may be just what the doctor ordered to keep bad breath at bay. According to a 2017 study, participants who regularly rinsed with a solution containing zinc saw more dramatic improvements in halitosis than those who used a placebo rinse. You can find mouth rinses with zinc on Amazon and elsewhere, and zinc supplements may help too.
3. Supplement With Probiotics
While bad breath can start in the mouth, in some cases it may begin as far down as the digestive tract. In these cases, improving gut health with probiotics may go a long way towards improving bad breath. Eat more probiotic-rich foods like live culture yogurt, kimchee, sauerkraut, and other fermented foods. Or you can opt for a simple probiotic supplement if you prefer!
4. Drink Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has the advantage of fighting two potential causes of bad breath. Firstly, drinking it helps with digestion, which, as I mentioned above, can treat bad breath in some cases. And secondly, apple cider vinegar has natural antibacterial properties, which help kill odor-causing bacteria that may be lurking in your mouth and teeth.
To use it, add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water. Drink this before each meal, or gargle with it for 10 seconds following your meal.
5. Stay Hydrated
If you aren’t drinking enough water during the day, your mouth is likely drier than it should be, and a dry mouth is an ideal breeding ground for odor-causing bacteria. Drink water regularly, and consider adding slices of orange, strawberries, or kiwi to give it a boost of vitamin C. Water and vitamin C together will make your mouth a very unpleasant place for bacteria to live, which means bye-bye bad breath!
6. Don’t Skip Meals
Fasting—or just plain forgetting to eat—can cause your mouth to dry out, which as I just mentioned, is no good. Failing to eat could also contribute to bad breath through a buildup of stomach acid, so make sure you are eating enough!
7. Use “Nature’s Toothbrushes”
Snacking on raw, fibrous fruits and vegetables like apples, celery, and carrots can help keep your mouth healthy. Chewing these fibrous foods scrubs plaque from teeth, stimulates gums, and freshens breath. Snacking on these foods will also increase saliva production and prevent dry mouth.
8. Drink Tea
In addition to drinking enough water, adding a cup or two of green tea throughout the day can have additional breath-freshening benefits. According to a 2012 review, green tea can improve halitosis—at least temporarily—due to the antibacterial properties of the polyphenols found in green tea leaves. So drink up!
9. Try A Natural Mouth Rinse
You can make a simple homemade mouth rinse packed with odor-fighting and antibacterial properties by adding 1 teaspoon of baking soda to 1 cup of water and adding a few drops of peppermint essential oil. Shake or stir to mix, then swish the rinse around in your mouth for 30 seconds before spitting it out. Store the remaining rinse mixture in an airtight container to use later.
10. Scrape Your Tongue
Another option for improving bad breath is to start using a tongue scraper. Tongue scraping may help remove dead skin cells, bacteria, and other nasties that can contribute to less-than-fresh breath.
11. Brush And Floss Regularly
And finally, having a good oral hygiene routine can take care of a lot of the causes of halitosis. Brushing and flossing help to remove plaque and bacteria from your mouth, and there really isn’t any substitute for these practices that’s as effective as the real thing!
Brush your teeth and tongue morning and night with a quality toothbrush, and floss once a day with dental floss too. Not only will your breath improve, but your dentist is sure to be impressed at your next checkup. (And as an added bonus, you won’t have to lie about flossing.)
Still Struggling With Bad Breath?
If, despite your best efforts, you are still experiencing bad breath that just won’t go away, schedule an appointment with your dentist ASAP. Chronic halitosis can be a sign of a more serious health issue, which is not something you want to ignore.
Do you have a go-to remedy for bad breath?