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Stopping Bad Breath

It’s just after lunch and you’re in the middle of an important job interview. You’re sailing along, doing everything right. Answers to the interviewer’s questions trip lightly from your tongue. You laugh together. You smile at each other. Your body language says you are at ease, self-assured. You’ve got the job – you think.

So you stand up, shake hands, and say, “I’ve enjoyed talking to you and I’ll look forward to hearing from you.”


Your interviewer grimaces just a little. His upper lip wrinkles. He smiles a tight, little smile. You can see something just went wrong. He’s been bushwhacked by your bad breath.

Not exactly the lasting impression you wanted to leave. Was it your lunch? Could be. But it could also be the lunch you ate yesterday. To find out why – and to avoid those potentially embarrassing moments—read on.

15 Effective Ways to Overcome Bad Breath

  1. Don’t dine with the garlic family. Highly spiced foods like to linger long after the party’s over. Spices tend to stay and recirculate through essential oils they leave in your mouth. Depending on how much you eat, the odor can stay in you mouth up to 24 hours; no matter how often you brush you teeth. Some foods to avoid include onions, hot peppers and garlic.
  2. Meat at the deli later. Spicy deli meats such as pastrami, salami, and pepperoni also leave oils behind long after you’ve swallowed them. You breathe. If an occasion calls for sweet-smelling breath, it’s best to avoid these meats for 24 hours beforehand to prevent them from talking for you.
  3. Say, “Please, no cheese.” Camembert , Roquefort, and blue cheese toppings are called strong for good reason – they get a hold on your breath and don’t let go. Other dairy products can have the same effect.
  4. Don’t fish for compliments. Some fish, like the anchovies on your pizza or even the tuna you tuck into your brown-bag lunch, can leave a lasting impression.
  5. Stick with water. Coffee, beer, wine, and whiskey are at the top of the list of liquid offenders. Each leaves a residue that can attach to the plaque in your mouth and infiltrate your digestive system. Each breath you take spews traces of these back to the air.
  6. Carry a toothbrush. Some odors can be eliminated – permanently or temporarily – if you brush immediately after a meal. The main culprit in bad breath is a soft, sticky film of living and dead bacteria that clings to your teeth and gums. That film is called plaque. At any time, there are 50 trillion of these microscopic organisms loitering in your mouth. They sit in every dark corner, eating morsel of food that passes your lips, collecting little smells, and producing little odors of their own. As you exhale, the bacteria exhale. So brush away the plague after each meal and get rid of some of the breath problem.
  7. Rinse your mouth out. When you can’t brush, you can rinse. Go to the restroom after meals and get a mouthful of water, swish it around, and wash the smell of food from your mouth. Spit the water out, of course.
  8. Eat three meals a day. Bad breath can be caused by not eating, too. One of the side effects of fasting or poor diet is bad breath.
  9. Swish and swallow. You’re in a restaurant, and your brush and floss are at home. You can’t excuse yourself from the table. So take a sip from your water glass and discreetly circulate the water across and around your teeth. Then swallow those potentially offending bits of food.
  10. Gargle a minty mouthwash. If you need 20 minutes of freedom from bad breath, gargling with a mouthwash is a great idea. But like Cinderella’s coach-turned-pumpkin, when your time is up, the magic will be gone and you’ll be back to talking behind a hand again.
  11. Choose your mouthwash by color and flavor. Amber and medicine-flavored mouthwashes contain essential oils such as thyme, eucalyptus, peppermint, and wintergreen, as well as sodium benzoate or benzoic acid. Red and spicy mouthwashes may contain zinc compounds. Both types will neutralize the odor-producing waste products of your mouth bacteria.
  12. Chew a mint or some gum. Like mouthwash, a breath mint or minty is just a cover up, good for a short interview, a short ride in a compact car, or a very short date.
  13. Eat your parsley. Parsley adds more than green to your lunch plate; it’s also a breath-saver. Parsley can freshen your breath naturally. So pick up that sprig and chew it thoroughly.
  14. Spice is nice. Certain herbs and spices you keep in your kitchen are natural breath enhancers. Carry a tiny plastic bag of cloves, fennel, or anise seeds to chew after odorous meals.
  15. Brush your tongue. Most people overlook their tongues, Your tongue is covered with little hairlike projections, which under a microscope look like a forest of mushrooms. Under the caps of the mushrooms there’s room to harbor plaque and some of the things we eat. That causes bad breath. While you are brushing, gently sweep the top of your tongue, too. Don’t leave food and bacteria behind to breed bad breath.

You see, if you follow this steps you’ll no longer cover your mouth and be conscious about your breath. Treating bad breath is easy.