How to Cure Bad Breath: Freshen Up with 10 Methods

how to cure bad breath

Halitosis, better known as “bad breath,” is a social nightmare. Blind dates, job interviews, and all sorts of first impressions rely not only on what you say but also on how you smell. Discover how to cure bad breath and freshen up with these ten simple methods.

What Causes Bad Breath?

Bad Breath

Image source: Pinterest

When bacteria thrive in the mouth, they cause a foul odor. These harmful bacteria flourish from poor dental hygiene, using tobacco products or certain medications, dry mouth, infections, diseases, and even simply eating sulfuric compounds like onions and garlic. Sometimes lousy breath originates deeper in the digestive tract, and saliva, the body’s natural defense against oral bacteria, needs help neutralizing it.

How to Cure Bad Breath: 10 Effective Methods

Method One: Parsley


For centuries, parsley has been a reliable folk cabinet remedy. Simply chew on a parsley leaf after eating your meal. While there is no scientific proof, many think the herb’s pungent flavor and fresh aroma exhibit deodorizing properties. Parsley contains a sizeable chlorophyll content, chlorophyll having antibacterial properties.

Method Two: Salt Water

Salt Water

This method is highly cost-effective and uses items guaranteed to already be in your cupboard. It’s also commonly prescribed by many dentists and oral surgeons to clean delicate, healing incisions. Just add 1/2 a teaspoon of table salt to a glass of water and rinse.

Be cautious not to swallow since saltwater is very dehydrating, nor use this method more than four times a week as overuse can weaken and erode tooth enamel.

Method Three: Water


An overlooked method, increasing water intake, can help with treating and preventing bad breath. Dry mouth, or lack of saliva secretion, is often a culprit of odorous breath. Drink eight glasses of water per day, including with meals, to remain hydrated. Considering dry mouth occurs naturally in sleep, drinking a glass of water when waking is also advisable.

Method Four: Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar

Full of antibacterial and ph balancing properties, apple cider vinegar can help neutralize foul odors. Always dilute apple cider vinegar, adding 1 tbsp of it to a glass of water. You can either rinse and gargle with the mixture or drink it in moderation.

Method Five: Milk


Despite having odorous side effects of its own, milk is excellent at eliminating “garlic breath.” Milk is high in Vitamin D, which decreases bacterial growth in the digestive system. It can benefit those with bad breath causing acid reflux acting as a provisional cushion between the stomach lining and acidic contents. For this method, drink a glass of low-fat or fat-free milk during your meal.

Method Six: Yogurt


Yogurt boosts digestive health with its good bacteria lactobacillus. Like milk, yogurt can help regulate the digestive tract and be a preventative step in solving lousy breath. According to recent research, those who ate yogurt also had less plaque and gingivitis. Just eat a serving of plain non-fat yogurt daily.

Method Seven: Gum


Try chewing gum instead of your grandma’s sugar-filled dinner mints. Chewing gum after a meal both stimulates saliva and removes debris lingering in teeth. However, be sure that your gum is sugar-free and flavored with breath-freshening oils to avoid exacerbating breath-related issues.

Method Eight: Fennel Seeds

Fennel Seeds

Roasted fennel seeds, called “mukhwas,” are a popular Indian after-meal that helps with bloating, indigestion, and flatulence. Fennel seeds are spectacular breath fresheners due to their antimicrobial properties and essential oils. Eat a teaspoon plain or roasted after meals, but avoid those coated in sugar as excess sugar leads to tooth decay.

Method Nine: Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil and its antiseptic and antifungal features help with bad breath, bleeding gums, and tooth decay. Since some people have a rare allergic reaction to tea tree oil, always dilute it with water before use.

Either use a couple of tiny drops in your toothpaste or make a rinse by diluting a drop of tea tree oil in three drops of vegetable oil and mixing it into a glass of water. Tea tree oil is toxic to ingest, so you will need to be extra careful not to swallow any.

Method Ten: Homemade Mouthwash


Most store-bought mouthwashes are expensive and contain alcohol which can cause dry mouth. However, you can easily make a cost-effective and alcohol-free mouthwash using common household ingredients. Take 1/2 a tbsp of baking soda and 1/2 a tbsp of salt, and mix them in 1 cup of water. Or you can find more do-it-yourself mouthwash recipes here.

The Best Way to Prevent Bad Breath

The best cure for bad breath is to act preventatively and fix whatever is causing halitosis. Avoiding certain foods such as onions and garlic and eliminating tobacco use can circumvent the issue. Always engage in proper dental hygiene, replace your toothbrush every 2-3 months, and schedule yearly dental check-ups.

After making these changes and still struggling with bad breath, see a physician. If caused by an underlying infection or disease, the problem may require medical attention.

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Sandra Holbrook

Sandra Holbrook

Sandra is an elementary school teacher turned columnist. Backed by many years of experience with social interactions under challenging circumstances, her work focuses on the importance of conversational wellbeing.

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