The socially unacceptable notion of bad breath causes pause to many who find themselves in close proximity to others. Whether it is a social setting, in a school environment, or on the job, having bad breath is not acceptable and actually is one of the quickest ways of getting ostracized from a group of people, and of course the opposite sex. This in turn leads to severe self consciousness and while the self esteem takes a beating, the affected individual may attempt to purchase a variety of tinctures and drops guaranteed to neutralize bad breath and then freshen it.
Truth be told, a lot of these substances are ineffective, and the few that do work may be a double edged sword in that they also offer some health problems. This is especially true in the arena of holistic medicine, where some herbal concoctions may contain substances that may cause allergic reactions and even produce undesired side effects, such as heart palpitations.
If your bad breath is due to poor oral hygiene – most commonly this refers to the failure to brush your teeth twice a day, floss, and use an oral rinse – there is precious little that can be done about it until you decide to change the way you go about caring for your mouth. Should there be gum disease or similar underlying causes for the bad breath, these two cannot be masked away and only a visit to the dentist and the dental hygienist can make this kind of dragon breath go away.
On the other hand, if you are a regular in your dentist’s chair, and if you practice proper oral hygiene at home, the presence of bad breath may be directly influenced by what you eat or drink.
Onions and garlic should be avoided prior to a social engagement, since they will permeate the breath not only from the mouth but also the pores.
Stay away from curried foods; these add a scent component to your breath that is hard to overcome, even if you were to brush your teeth immediately after eating.
Fish is a mixed blessing; salmon is not a typical offender but tuna does seem to stick around and make the breath rather smelly. Choose your lunch carefully!
Order an extra lemon wedge with your water. After finishing your meal, finish your water and then suck on the lemon wedge, swishing the juice around in your mouth for a few seconds. This little act has the power to act as a powerful bacteria inhibitor and you may greatly curtail the presence of bad breath.
Ask for an extra sprig of parsley or mint with your meal. Both are rich in chlorophyll, a natural chemical that has been known to act as an odor neutralizer. In addition, mint contains essential oils that provide a sweet scent to your breath. Surprise your waiter and actually eat the garnish! Chew it well, and then swish the saliva through your mouth before swallowing.
Eat an apple or a carrot. These foods are hard and scrape away bacteria that cause odors in your mouth. Ice cubes, to a lesser extent, accomplish the same thing, but because they wreak havoc on most dental work, this is not recommended.