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How to Get Good-Smelling Breath

Rajan is a botany and chemistry major. He has worked as a poultry breeder for 23 years, breeding layer and broiler parents.

Bad breath! Just the thought of it makes one shudder. There have been times when most of us have been in a situation when we wished we could literally vanish as if by magic, just because the other person's breath reeked.

At some point in time, it is us who would have liked to know how to tackle this issue of offensive smelling breath, particularly if we have eaten something that is a naturally known to cause oral odour, like onion and garlic.

Bad breath is more common than we realize and it is on the other person who realizes this ever so often. There are numerous reasons for mouth odour ranging from eating strong-smelling foods to outright bad dental hygiene and other health issues.
This hub is not going to discuss other health issues.

Just as some foods cause breath to be unpleasant, there are other foods that when consumed in their natural state not only mask bad breath but in many instances even eliminate its cause.

But first of all, we ought to know the things that can cause bad breath.

Causes and Remedial Measures

If you have issues related to dental health, respiratory or gut health, ensure that you get these treated to eliminate issues with bad breath permanently. Otherwise, whatever you do will only temporarily tackle this problem.

Some of the other things you need to take care of are :

  1. First and foremost ensure proper dental hygiene. This means proper cleaning of the teeth by brushing twice a day, on getting up in the morning and after eating your last meal of the day in the evening or night as the case may be.

    This ensures that the accumulated bacteria are eliminated and their growth is kept in check.

    Floss once a day at least, to remove the food particles trapped between the teeth and also the gum line. Flossing will help prevent bad breath as the unremoved food bits could have decayed and caused an offensive odour.

    Also, remember to clean the surface of the tongue, as far back as you can go comfortably. This will ensure removal of dead cells, food debris, bacteria etc that also cause for bad breath.

  2. Ensure that you drink enough water right through the day. A dry mouth is known to cause bad breath due to lack of saliva; it contains oxygen that prevents bacterial growth. This is the reason we suffer from an awful breath when we wake up in the morning. Not much saliva is produced when we are sleeping.

  3. Do not rely on mints to eradicate the bad smell as they will not kill these odour causing bacteria. Rather, the bacteria will revel in the feast you just provided them in the form of sugared mints. You could chew gum that has xylitol, which is a sugar substitute, and this will not encourage bacterial growth.

  4. Foods high in protein and low in carbohydrates also cause bad breath since they trigger ketosis, where the body burns fat instead of sugar and causes bad breath. Remember to eat at least 100 grams of carbohydrates a day.

  5. Whenever meat foods are eaten the fibres tend to hang in even after you've drunk water and rinse your mouth. Make it a practice to remove them by either flossing or brushing your teeth as these also cause offensive breath.

    Even otherwise, rising the mouth well after eating lessens the chances of bacterial growth and bad breath.

  6. Another big culprit is our intake of acidic beverages whether it is tea, coffee, soda or alcohol. Apart from releasing compounds that enter the blood and are released through the mouth, these drinks cause drying of the mouth and lower the mouth pH which helps allows the bacteria to multiply in the mouth and cause mouth odour.

    Rinsing the mouth or swishing water in the mouth will ensure the pH of the mouth stays less acidic.

  7. Quit smoking! Smoking releases chemicals in the mouth that not only cause an off-putting breath and a dry mouth but lead to dental issues as well. You could always benefit from reducing smoking in more ways than this one.

  8. Increase intake of vitamin C rich fruits like lemons, oranges, berries, apples, pears, melons and raw veggies like carrots, celery, cucumber etc; it makes the mouth pH alkaline. Bacteria do not thrive in an alkaline environment that these foods provide.

I hope you now know how to get a good-smelling breath and also which natural breath fresheners you can use if the need arises.

Some Natural Breath Fresheners

Herbs, spices and other foods are provided by nature in the form of ready-made breath fresheners. Though the emphasis foremost should be on correcting bad oral hygiene, in times when the health aspect is perfect but one still needs to be confident about oneself the following natural solutions will freshen up one's breath within no time.

  • Mint

Chew a few fresh mint leaves. They contain essential oils that combat mouth odour-causing bacteria. Mint is cooling and refreshing as well.

  • Yoghurt

The live bacteria in yoghurt is full of probiotics, the good bacteria. When good bacteria abound the bad ones are eliminated.

  • Green Tea

The antibacterial compounds especially the catechins in green tea eliminate the odour causing bacteria and fight bad breath.

  • Cinnamon

Chew a cinnamon stick or drink cinnamon tea. It tastes good and makes the breath smell sweet.

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  • Green Cardamom

Chew a pod of green cardamom or its seeds. It will freshen the mouth and breath instantly. The seeds can be swallowed too to your benefit.

  • Fennel Seeds

In India, fennel seeds have been used as a mouth freshener since ages, especially eaten after meals as they also aid in digestion.

Chew some fennel seeds. They have a sweet flavour and freshen the breath instantly.

  • Cloves

Cloves contain an essential oil that is also a very potent antiseptic. It kills bacteria. You can also make a mouthwash by steeping 6 whole cloves in a litre of water for 15 to 20 minutes and then straining the water and using it as a mouth wash.

  • Coriander

Chew some coriander leaves or cilantro. You can also chew a few ripe coriander seeds for a minute or so and then spit them out. They have essential oils that kill bad breath.


The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies, supplements or starting a new health regime.

Some Of My Other Hubs

How to Use a Tongue Cleaner by Dr. Mel Rosenberg

How to Floss (The Right Way!)

Proper Tooth Brushing

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2013 Rajan Singh Jolly


Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on August 26, 2013:

@LKMore-thanks for your input and glad you are feeling the difference after quitting smoking.

@skin-care-natural-thank you.

Clara Myers from USA, East Coast on August 26, 2013:

Very true about cleaning the tongue. Many people forget to do it and that's usually the source of the problem. Voted up!

LKMore01 on August 26, 2013:

Voted up and very informative, rajan. As a former smoker I can honestly admit to trying a lot of these remedies. When I finally quit I realized how much better my mouth and body felt. You will spend thousands and thousands of dollars in the US for basic dental care, so starting early is essential or you will pay in more ways than one as an adult.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on March 16, 2013:

I agree Aurelio. I bet most people are aware of this method. Thanks for the input though and appreciate your support to my hubs.

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on March 16, 2013:

One way to tell if you have bad breath is to lick the back of your hand and then smell it. If it smells bad, then you need to do something about your breath. Voting this Up and Useful.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on March 14, 2013:

Thanks for reading and appreciating the info, Au fait.

C E Clark from North Texas on March 13, 2013:

Lots of good advice here. A good balanced diet and proper dental hygiene is always a good thing. Voted up!

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on March 13, 2013:

vibesites, I'm glad this hub has been informative to you. Thanks for stopping by.

vibesites from United States on March 12, 2013:

Oh, I never thought that not drinking water enough also leads to bad breath! Thanks for sharing valuable info Rajan. I also dread bad breaths especially in the morning. Voted up and useful. :)

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on March 12, 2013:

Wilia, thanks for your visit and input. I hope it helps readers. Thanks.

Wilia on March 12, 2013:

Hi great post and many great tips. My girlfriend is a dental nurse and she's been going through al these things with me many times.

The toothbrushing video is slightly outdated! Now dentists recommend brushing before breakfast. Never straight after meals. As Enamel is weakened and we can damage it with brushing. That's why we should wait at least 2 hours after meal for brushing.

ta da

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on March 11, 2013:

@ HO - thanks Joe! I value and appreciate your comments and do hope this information benefits people. Have a wonderful day!

@ Prasetio - good to see you again my friend. I'm glad you like the information. Many thanks.

@ Paul - I appreciate that you can identify with this information .It is always good to see you my friend and your comments are much valued. Thanks.

@ Shahid - Thanks for reading and commenting, my friend.

@ Ebonny - Thanks for reading and I appreciate you agree with the info.

@ moonlake - I think you are right. Though many factors are involved, flossing is a very important one. Thanks for stopping by.

moonlake from America on March 11, 2013:

Interesting information. I once knew a family of women and they all had bad breath except for one sister and she noticed what I noticed. I think it may have been that they never flossed. Voted up

Ebonny from UK on March 11, 2013:

I had no idea vitamin C could help this problem. Also what you say about mints loaded with sugar is interesting, especially bearing in mind this is the first thing people tend to reach for when they suspect they have a breath issue. Many thanks for sharing all this with us.

Shahid Sher from Pakistan on March 10, 2013:

This is really Nice Information thanks Rajan Jolly For This Great Hub :)

Paul Richard Kuehn from Udorn City, Thailand on March 10, 2013:


This is a great hub and I can personally identify with bad breath, especially when I was a smoker. It is absolutely true that you have to take care of teeth by brushing them, your tongue, and flossing. Drinking coffee leaves you with a bad breath, so I always rinse out my mouth and use a mouth wash after drinking a cup. Voted up and sharing with followers and on Facebook. Also Pinning.

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on March 10, 2013:

Very informative hub. Brother, I love your tips and you come up with solution for us, especially the natural breath fresheners and the video as well. Thanks for sharing with us. Wonderful quality hub brother, as always! Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting.


Hawaiian Odysseus from Southeast Washington state on March 10, 2013:

All of your hubs have pertinent information, but for some reason, I believe this may be one of the most popular ones ever.

Thank you so much for giving such a balanced presentation as to the foods and dehydration causes of bad breath AND the foods that can neutralize or even eradicated the situation.

Aloha, my friend, and have a great week ahead!


Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on March 10, 2013:

@ Vinaya - I 'm sure as well and thanks for reading.

@ Nithya - thanks.

@ Pamela - I'm glad you like the information. Thanks for the votes.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on March 10, 2013:

Very good information for having good breath and even keeping your teeth in optimal condition. Voted up and useful!

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on March 10, 2013:

Great hub with tips to keep away bad breath. Cloves and cardomom are great to chew. I love the mint fresheners!!

Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on March 09, 2013:


my sister has bad breath problems, I'll suggest your tips to her. I'm sure it will help her.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on March 09, 2013:

@ Carol - thanks for the comments and visit. appreciate the share.

@ Mary - thank you.

@ point2make - glad you liked the info. Thanks.

@ Arun - thanks for your input and read.

@ Bill -thanks for stopping by.

@ Devika - I'm glad you appreciate this fact.

@ MsDora - you're welcome.

@ Bill - appreciate the visit, comments and passing it on. Thanks.

@ Torri - thanks for being so truthful about it and I hope this info helps. Appreciate it and the sharing.

@ Mahavir - thanks for reading and sharing.

@ Rebecca - glad to be of help and appreciate your visit and comments. Thanks.

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on March 09, 2013:

Very interesting. You bring up some points that I did not know about that contribute to bad breath. And also, some points I knew but often forget, like brushing the tongue. My co-workers will thank you.

Mahaveer Sanglikar from Pune, India on March 09, 2013:

Very useful information. It will help for many people who have a bad smelling breath.

torrilynn on March 09, 2013:

Hi rajan,

I feel that now that I have braces I notice I have bad breath

I really do brush my teeth and use mouthwash all of the time but nothing

seems to work even after I eat a certain meal. So I've been using breathmints

which have been helping somewhat. Thanks for this really great hub though.

Very useful information. Voted up and shared.

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on March 09, 2013:

Really interesting rajan. I imagine we would all want our friends and family to read this :) The list of natural breath fresheners is great and there are a few surprises on there that I didn't realize would help. Great job. VU, sharing, etc..

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on March 09, 2013:

I appreciate this hub. Very often, we think of other things besides natural remedies. The information on cloves is especially surprising. Thanks for your very helpful suggestions.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on March 09, 2013:

Great ideas for good breath sometimes one overlooks these moments and bad breath can leave in the corner of the room alone and feeling unhappy.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on March 09, 2013:

Very interesting information. I knew about cloves, but the rest of the suggestions were excellent.


Very informative write up based on facts. However I feel enticed to add- The pH scale measures how acidic or basic a substance is. While 7 is neutral as we go down the scale the more acidic is the substance. Likewise above 7 is alkaline. Thanks for the useful hub.

point2make on March 09, 2013:

What a great informative hub. Thank-you for "filling in the details" for me. I wasn't aware of all the causes and I appreciate that you included some of the natural remedies. Thanks again. Voted this excellent hub up!

Mary Craig from New York on March 09, 2013:

I honestly didn't know dehydration caused bad breath! I always learn from your hubs Rajan. Your careful research benefits us all.

Voted up, useful, and interesting.

carol stanley from Arizona on March 09, 2013:

I was married to a Dentist many years ago..and Ishowed people how to clean their teeth...All this brought back many memories. Excellent. Voting up and sharing.

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