Are Any of These Bad Breath Foods on Your Valentine’s Day Menu?
With Valentine’s Day coming up, we’d all better make sure we keep these bad breath foods off the dinner menu.
Garlic, onions, tuna fish, & some stinky cheeses certainly top the list of bad breath foods, but there are a few more everyday offenders that might slip under the breath-sniffing radar.
Thanks to Men’s Health for compiling this list of four more bad breath foods we should be mindful of for the upcoming Valentine’s Day dinner reservation, there may be a couple of surprises in there…
1. Alcohol & Energy Drinks
Well we can all probably kiss that wish goodbye, what’s Valentine’s Day without a libation or two?
Maybe the energy drinks won’t be on the menu, but alcohol seems like a surprising bad breath offender.
According to the Men’s Health article, coffee, alcohol and the caffeine from energy drinks can be dehydrating.
Saliva acts as a natural defense to bad breath – among other oral health maladies – but when our mouths dry out from too much alcohol indulgence, saliva production obviously decreases.
“It’s this dry mouth condition And when your mouth dries out, the levels of your natural breath protector, saliva, decrease,” says Lisa Harper Mallonee, B.S.D.H., M.P.H., R.D., L.D., associate professor at Texas A&M University, Baylor College of Dentistry.
This drying fosters some foul smells, she says….and we should listen to folks with that many letters after their name!
Using mouthwash containing alcohol on your already dry mouth can temporarily take away odor, but it leaves your mouth even drier later.
How to fix it: Drink more water…does wonders for the accompanying day after hangover too if overindulgence made the menu. There’s no magic fix besides drinking good ol’ water, says Mallonee. If your breath reeks, electrolyte drinks will replace your fluids, but the acid in them will dry out your mouth, too.
Stinky cheeses like Brie, Munster, Roquefort, & Limburger are some of the top bad breath foods on this planet, but —but milk and other dairy products don’t exactly make our mouths smell like that Valentine’s Day bouquet of roses either.
“Dairy does linger in the mouth,” says Mallonee. Dairy-induced halitosis can also be an issue for people with lactose intolerance. “They don’t have the enzyme that can actually break down the dairy,” she says.
How to fix it: Swap cheese and milk for yogurt with live probiotics, healthy bacteria that will assist your body in processing the food.
Who is going to skip the heart-shaped candies or delectably delicious chocolates on Valentine’s Day?
Turns out candy doesn’t just rot our teeth—it also gives us bad breath.
It’s the combination of sugar and bacteria in our mouths that releases the smelly sulfur compounds, says Mallonee. And since candy particles are particularly sticky and tricky to remove, it increases the time bacteria and sugar can react.
So not only is candy a cavity creep inviting treat, it’s also one of the lesser known bad breath foods.
How to fix it: A little water can go a long way. And try a tongue scraper, NYC dentist Fiona Yeung, D.D.S. advises brushing your tongue because it’s a place that harbors a lot of bacteria. Flossing will also help remove the sugary foods stuck between your teeth.
4. Red Meat
For all those mend & women looking forward to that hefty slab of meat on Valentine’s Day, you may want to rethink the entrée choice.
Who thought steak would actually be one of the most offensive bad breath foods?
Turns out the protein – which is a vital part of our diet – remnants in our mouths can produce quite the nasty smell, says Mallonee. Whereas other meats, like chicken or fish, won’t cause quite the same problem.
How to fix it: Chew gum. The rubbing, chewing motion can remove many food particles, says Dr. Yueng, who encourages patients to have a balanced diet rather than avoiding red meat or other foods. Chewing gum also produces more saliva, which can flush out those food particles. Look for gum with xylitol, a clinically proven sweetener and bacteria killer, says Mallonee. (The efficacy of similar substances, like sorbitol, has yet to be verified.) She recommends Spry Xylitol Gum, which is sweetened with 100 percent xylitol, or a gum that lists the ingredient first, like Trident Original Flavor.
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Got any other bad breath foods to share with those of us that may need a little refresher course before Valentine’s Day?
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on DentalPatientNews.com and has been republished here with permission. It has since been updated for accuracy & comprehensiveness.