We've already posted an article running through the major causes of halitosis (spoiler alert: the prime suspect is almost always oral bacteria). Now, as a companion piece, we'd like to discuss some all-natural ways to get rid of bad breath.
Keep in mind that "all-natural" does not necessarily mean "made from plants" or "plucked directly from a dewy forest glade." What it does indicate is that a specialty breath freshening product is made without harsh, synthetic chemicals or irritants.
But yes, sometimes it also means "made from plants."
So, without further ado, here are three ingredients that can help you get rid of bad breath without resorting to harsh mouthwashes or unfamiliar chemicals.
- Purified water. Moisture is the key to eliminating oral odor, since almost all halitosis is caused by anaerobic bacteria on the tongue. These microbes thrive in dryness, especially the kinds caused by mouth-breathing, sleeping with your jaws open, anxiety, exercise or even alcohol-based mouthwashes. The best mouthrinses, then, use purified water, not alcohol.
- Essential oil of peppermint. Why use a synthetic variant when you can stick to the tried-and-true stuff? Peppermint oil has been banishing bad breath for centuries.
- Sodium bicarbonate. Also known as baking soda, this gentle alkaline powder is found in certain mineral springs, as well as in all-purpose (and all-natural) toothpastes and mouthrinses.
There you have it!
While we're at it, here are some ingredients to avoid. If your mouthwash or toothpaste contains any of these, consider swapping it for a specialty breath freshening version.
- Alcohol. Lots of ineffective mouthwashes contain alcohol, a substance that dries out the mouth and actually leads to bad breath!
- Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). This synthetic chemical is a detergent, and it's often added to cheaper products to help them foam up. It also happens to irritate the delicate tissues of the cheeks and gums, so avoid SLS whenever possible.
- Saccharin. This artificial sweetener is unnecessary, not to mention unnatural.