Cartoon highlights foods that commonly cause bad breath
Spongebob Squarepants, a cartoon that has addressed everything from swearing to weightlifting to ninja-fighting, is no stranger to the topic of halitosis. An episode that originally aired on Nickelodeon in 2000 dealt with bad breath and the consequences of eating aromatic foods.
Called "Something Smells," the episode sees Spongebob in need of an ice cream sundae. Since he happens to have no ice cream available, the naive sea sponge creates an ersatz sundae using ketchup, onions and peanuts. After eating it, his breath is so bad that it is visible as a green miasma around his head and mouth.
While such a meal is pretty unlikely in real life, the principle holds up. Certain foods can leave aromatic compounds in the mouth that continue to give off a smell long after a meal has been ingested. Onions are a prime example. Peanuts may also cause bad breath.
In the episode, people's reactions to the odor are also instructive. Friends and total strangers run away screaming, but no one directly tells Spongebob that he has bad breath. In reality, this is often the case.
Since information from others can be unreliable, the best treatments for bad breath occur daily. Avoiding smelly foods, brushing thoroughly and rinsing with a specialty breath freshening product are all effective ways to prevent halitosis.