New Year’s Eve is just around the corner, and if you’re like a lot of Tusconans, you’re either eagerly awaiting the traditional midnight kiss. But for those of us who suffer from chronic bad breath, New Year’s parties and other events can bring a lot of anxiety – especially if you’ve already tried everything from the tongue scrapers to the mouthwash to the chewing gum, to no avail. If you’re tired of excusing yourself in the middle of a party so you can devour a breath freshening strip, you may want to try changing your diet. With the right diet, you can keep your bad breath under control and breathe easy, no matter what event you need to dash off to next.
CHEESE AND YOGURT CAN HALT ACID IN ITS TRACKS
One of the main contributors to bad breath is food that is high in acid or contributes to an acidic environment in your mouth. This includes foods and drinks like coffee, raisins, and other foods that stick to your teeth. When these acids take up residence in your mouth for an extended period of time, they cause the bacteria in your mouth to multiply – and those bacteria give off quite the stink when they reproduce.
You can stop this process at its very beginning by simply increasing your intake of yogurt and cheese. After you’ve eaten a meal, finishing it off with a piece of cheese can neutralize the acids on your teeth. And according to one Japanese study, two servings of unsweetened yogurt per day can keep your breath fresh by reducing the amount of hydrogen sulfide in your mouth.
DON’T SKIP TEA TIME: BLACK TEA FIGHTS HALITOSIS IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE
Think tea is just for British folks? You may want to reconsider. Black tea is one of the best drinks for controlling bad breath. It’s rich in polyphenols, which work double time to keep your breath smelling great. First, they inhibit the growth of foul-smelling bacteria, and second, they reduce the rate at which the bacteria in your mouth produce unpleasant odors. Black tea is also a great way to prevent tooth decay, another cause of bad breath. Just watch that you don’t go overboard – black tea contains caffeine, which can contribute to dry mouth. Opt for decaffeinated black tea for best results.
PASTA, YAMS, AND BREAD: CARBS AREN’T ENTIRELY BAD FOR YOU
Carbs have been taking a beating in the media for years, but in moderation, they’re actually quite good for your oral health. A low-carb diet (like the Atkins diet) often produces bad breath as a side effect. When you stop eating carbs, your body starts burning its stored fat. During this fat-burning process, ketones enter your body and are released through your breath. These ketones are what make your breath smell. If you’re committed to a low-carb diet, there’s not much you can do to treat the bad breath – it’s an unavoidable consequence. But if you’re determined to treat your bad breath, you may want to find a diet that allows you to eat more carbs. Nutritional research has come a long way in recent years, and we now know that carbs aren’t the great scourge they were once thought to be. Talk to a nutritionist about your carb intake – you might be surprised at what you can eat while still losing weight.
Bad breath is often an embarrassing problem, but with the right diet, you can curb your halitosis and leave the embarrassment behind. Not sure whether your diet is good for your teeth, gums, or mouth? Dr. Badie can help you to understand how your diet affects your oral health. Call Badie Dental at (520) 433-9800 today to book your appointment and learn more.