Top 5 Natural Remedies for Bad Breath

By Mali Anderson in Healthy Feeling

If you're seeking natural remedies for bad breath, you're not alone. Everyone gets stinky breath from time to time—after a garlicky meal or a cup of coffee, for example. Bad breath also results from bacteria in the teeth and on the tongue. Practicing good oral hygiene, including brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each session and seeing a dentist regularly, is a good first step in maintaining fresh breath. Plus, there are easy life shifts you can take to get rid of the occasional bout of bad breath.

1. Stay Hydrated with Lemon Water

Dehydration and dry mouth can amplify stinky breath, which is why keeping yourself hydrated is one of the easiest natural remedies for bad breath. Simply drink water throughout the day and keep a water bottle with you when you travel or plan to spend a day away from home. Try squeezing some lemon in your water for a fresh flavor. According to the Journal of Food Safety, citrus has antibacterial properties—which may help to prevent lingering mouth odors, too.

A woman with curly hair biting an apple.

2. Eat Apples and Crispy Produce

Healthy saliva production is part of having fresh breath. Your mouth needs saliva to wash away food particles that can lead to bacteria. Apples and fresh produce combat dry mouth and sour odors. Keeping an apple on hand is an easy (and delicious!) way to quickly freshen your breath when you're at school or work. If you're eating a dish with strong flavors, opt for a side of fresh fruits and vegetables to help neutralize odors.

3. Try Homemade Mouthwash

Baking soda—also known as sodium bicarbonate—has long been used to neutralize acid and odor in the mouth. At home, you can embrace the power of baking soda with a homemade mouthwash. Add a teaspoon or two of baking soda to a cup of warm water and swirl it in your mouth for a half minute before spitting it out.

4. Sip Tea

Green tea is a good source of antioxidants, and the polyphenols it contains can inhibit the growth of oral bacteria that lead to bad breath, according to the National Institutes of Health. Black tea is also rich in polyphenols. Enjoy a freshly brewed mug during your breaks, or brew a batch of tea at night and chill it in your refrigerator for a bottle of refreshing, chilled tea to sip throughout the next day.

5. Chew on Herbs

If you're dining out, your main dish may be served with parsley on the side. This sprig of green can be a great palate cleanser and breath freshener after you've finished your meal. The American Chemical Society even suggests parsley for helping to get rid of garlic breath! When dining at home, consider using some of the herbs you may be growing on your windowsill or in your garden to get rid of bad breath naturally. Like green and black tea, parsley, basil, and thyme contain high levels of polyphenols. Chewing on fragrant herbs such as peppermint, anise, and clove can also help to leave your mouth feeling fresh and clean.

Basil growing in a pot.

While these bad breath remedies can boost your confidence if you're experiencing occasional bouts of bad breath, you should let your healthcare professional know if you have ongoing halitosis concerns. Sometimes an infection, illness, allergy, or dietary change is responsible, and home remedies won't be the solution to these issues.

Learn more about why bad breath happens and how to kick it to the curb with some additional tips for masking bad breath naturally.

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Why It's Good

Using home remedies for concerns such as bad breath can help you feel comfortable and confident while aligning with a more natural, low-waste lifestyle.