August 20th, 2013

6 Tips for Naturally Fresh Breath

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Groovy Green Livin Fresh Breath

The quest for fresh breath has been around for ages. We flock to mints, mouthwash, gum and toothpaste all for temporary fresh breath. Take a stroll down the aisles at your local pharmacy and you’ll likely find an entire section of products dedicated to the promise of  fresh breath.

Bad breath is big business.

Contrary to popular belief, your alcohol-laden mouthwash may actually be making your bad breath worse. Most mouthwash contains alcohol which can mask your bad breath disappear for a while, but the alcohol actually dries your mouth out. Gum and mints can contain nasty ingredients that are only a temporary fix. The sugar in some breath mints and gum can actually causes bacteria in the mouth to reproduce, which will keep the bad breath coming on strong.

If bad breath is a recurring problem you might want to rule out any serious health conditions. Once this is ruled out there are a few natural lines of defense for fresh breath.

  1. Good Oral Hygiene. The best defense for bad breath is to brush twice a day and floss. Also, head to the dentist for regular cleanings.
  2. Parsley. Parsley is commonly used as a garnish, but can also help to freshen your breath. Parsley contains chlorophyll which has anti-bacterial properties and when chewed neutralizes bad breath. Chew on parsley leaves anytime you need a quick breath freshening boost. Large amounts of parsley shouldn’t be consumed by pregnant women or anyone with liver disease.
  3. Lemon Rinse. Lemons and other citrus have a high acidic content and help to prevent the growth of bacteria on the tongue and gums. Gargle with a cup of lemon juice when needed or suck on a lemon wedge.
  4. Salt RinseUsing a salt water rinse to freshen breath has been around for a long-time. Mix together salt and water in a glass and gargle for 15 seconds then spit it out. The salt kills bacteria in your mouth. You might want to add a drop of peppermint oil to make the breath smell minty.
  5. Oil PullingOil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic method for detox and rejuvenation. To oil pull, simply swish your choice of unrefined, high quality oil in your mouth for 5-20 minutes each day. Most people I know who do this use coconut oil  because it has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and enzymatic properties which will have the added benefit of killing unwanted bacteria.
  6. Cardamom, Fennel and Coriander Mixture. Make your own breath freshener mixture by mixing together fennel, coriander and cardamom seeds. Keep the mixture in a glass, airtight jar and chew on a small pinch when your breath needs a boost.

A healthy, balanced diet and drinking a lot of water also help to combat bad breath.

I recently went to an Erba Vita event in Boston and had a chance to check out some of their herbal and dietary supplements. Breath is a natural dietary supplement that supports fresher smelling breath. It contains many ingredients that combat bad breath including chlorophyll, licorice, cardamom and fennel. There are a few ingredients such as Maltodextrin (a processed food additive), gum arabic and natural flavor (a term that can be a catch all and is unregulated) that aren’t ideal, but overall this product seemed to work well as a breath freshener.

What’s your favorite natural remedy for fresh breath?

*If bad breath is a recurring problem you might want to rule out any serious health conditions.

Disclosure: I did receive a sample of Erba Vitta Breath Supplement to try. All opinions are my very own. Promise.

7 Responses to “6 Tips for Naturally Fresh Breath”

  1. Hi Lori!

    I’ve noticed that ever since I started flossing (just once a day) I rarely have what I would consider to be ‘bad’ breath any more. It may not be minty fresh, but it definitely makes a difference.
    Teresa recently posted..7 High Protein Low Carb SnacksMy Profile

  2. What a helpful post! Bad breath is bad news! No doubt about it. Time to toss that misleading pack of ‘sweet breath’chewing gum! Who knew that gum only added to the problem! This is one of the most comprehensive articles that I have read on natural fresh breath remedies.I use salt water as well as lemon rinse. But I plan to try the other remedies in your post very soon.
    Deborah Davis recently posted..Move Your Body Like Beyonce Plus 10 More Ways to Have Fun with FitnessMy Profile

  3. Love these ideas. Got brave enough to try oil pulling tonight too after reading the story you linked to!
    robbie @ going green mama recently posted..Earn Brownie badges at the farmer’s marketMy Profile

  4. Wow, those are some far-out remedies, Lori! Good job. I would add baking soda to the list (mixed with water as a gargle, or as a natural toothpaste). I’m surprised to see lemons on the list. I thought that the acid in citrus fruits can damage the teeth?
    Joy @ Joyfully Green recently posted..Today’s Task: Abandon Your To-Do ListMy Profile

  5. And how did it go Robbie? I haven’t tried it yet, but on my list to give it a shot.

  6. I always used salt to help cure cankers, but I never thought to check its effect on breath…might just have to try it out.
    Danielle recently posted..Dymatize Creatine ReviewMy Profile

  7. I would add peroxide to this list. Its not only good for cleaning cloth diapers and getting stains out of clothes, it kills the germs that cause bad breath. I brush my tongue and gargle it after flossing.

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About Lori

Hi! I’m Lori, a recovering attorney, writer, and mom to three boys. Join me as I uncover and share the latest info on healthy living. Learn more.

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