We’ve all had tasty meals where we absolutely looooooooved the garlicky pasta we ate, but then regretted it afterwards because of the bad breath it gave us. So, before you deny yourself that delicious pasta dish, think about what you can order for dessert afterwards to help get rid of that bad breath!
We all have bacteria in our mouths, and when we eat a meal, the food particles left behind act as an energy source for those bacteria. The bacteria then release a toxin that either attacks the soft tissue causing gum disease, or the hard tissue – your teeth – causing decay. Either way the release of the toxin leads to infection and bad breath. The foods listed below all help by combating mealtime for the bacteria and microbes that naturally exist in our mouths, thereby reducing and/or eliminating bad breath!
APPLES: Granny Smith apples were shown to have the highest phenol content, but any apple after dinner will do! Phenols are known to be anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. Raw apples are great because not only do their phenols inhibit bacterial growth leading to bad breath, but when you chew on these crunchy foods, they physically cleanse the teeth and help prevent the buildup of biofilm that forms plaque. Maybe they should change it to “An apple a day keeps bad breath, gum disease and cavities away!”?
BERRIES: All berries are not only full of healthy anti-oxidants, but they also contain the abovementioned phenols which are anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. Studies have shown that fruit like blueberries, raspberries and blackberries inhibit the growth of C. albicans which is the fungus that leads to oral thrush – better known as a yeast infection. Also, strawberries and raspberries have been shown to be strong inhibitors of Salmonella.
CITRUS: Oranges, lemons, grapefruits, mandarins and tangerines are all citrus fruit. However the antimicrobial powers of these fruits come from the essential oils in the peels, not the juicy flesh inside. So after eating your Kung Pao chicken at lunch, be sure to eat the orange wedge they offer you, first on the inside, and then squeeze the rind to release those oils and rub it on your teeth and tongue to eliminate bad breath. Remember not to suck on lemons or limes as the acid will erode the enamel of your pearly whites!
PARSLEY: Parsley is tasty, cheap and has anti-microbial properties. Parsley comes in two varieties: curly or flat leaf. Either one works. Be sure to chew on that parsley garnish on your plate to avoid bad breath.
CELERY: Celery, or Apium graveolens, has been shown to have both anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. It is also chock full of flavonoids. Consumption of natural foods rich in flavonoids helps the body to prevent lung and oral cancer. And again, when eaten raw, this crunchy vegetable will physically cleanse your teeth as you chew.
I hope this was informative and helpful, so next time when you’re out on a date with your significant other, you can still order the pasta all’olio e aglio and kiss afterwards. Remember, a healthy smile is always in style!
Diva Dentist PB