How to avoid bad breath

Last Updated August 2021

Everyone has had bad breath at some point. It happens, but it can be avoided. Check out a few easy steps you can take to prevent an embarrassing situation:

Maintain Good Oral Hygiene

This is key to fighting bad breath, yet a lot of people overlook it. This helps reduce odour-causing bacteria in your mouth. Follow this up with a twice-daily rinse to help prevent cavities and reduce plaque-causing bacteria.

Watch What You Eat

Certain foods you consume get absorbed into your bloodstream only to reappear when you breathe. Pungent ingredients like garlic, onions and other spicy foods are some of the worst offenders. So, eat more vegetables and herbs like celery, carrots and parsley —their higher water content will help flush your mouth of debris.


If you can’t follow up a meal with brushing, flossing and rinsing, drinking fluids can help cleanse your mouth of bacteria and food particles before they can start to cause problems. Water is ideal. Steer clear of fizzy drinks—all that excess sugar will bind to your teeth and gums, mixing with the leftover remnants of your meal and cause bad breath.

Chew the Right Thing

Chewing a piece of sugar-free gum after you eat can help freshen up your breath and keep saliva flowing, so your mouth can naturally flush out bacteria and food particles. Be wary of mints: at best they’ll just mask bad breath, at worst they’ll be loaded with sugar that will just stick to your teeth and add to your problem.


Does Chewing Gum Really Help Banish Bad Breath?

Yes and no. Since bad breath is often caused by dry mouth, chewing sugar-free gum can be a great way to get those saliva glands going. Not only will it help to flush out bacteria, saliva also helps usher unwanted food particles from your mouth before they can break down in your mouth.

Sweets and mints that are loaded with sugar, however, are not going to help. They may mask the odour, but they won’t kill the bacteria that are causing your breath to smell. That’s because sugary foods are the main foods that bacteria thrive on to produce acids, which then contribute to tooth decay.

Your best bet is to brush, floss and rinse twice daily. This will ensure your mouth is optimally clean.