Freshen Bad Breath & Whiten Teeth With 8 Weird Tricks That Actually Work

Morning breath (or bad breath, in general) happens to everyone at some point. The common problem is even more irritating when coupled with stubborn surface stains, and both result from frequent coffee consumption and other everyday foods. When run-of-the-mill oral hygiene methods fall short, it's worth exploring the weird ways to freshen breath and whiten teeth.

Don't give up the good fight just yet — even if you've tried every kind of mouthwash, toothpaste, and brushing gadget under the sun. There are so many off-the-beaten-track methods of combatting mouth odors and teeth yellowing that you've definitely not explored yet. Have you tried rubbing activated charcoal around your teeth and gums? Turns out, when paired with detoxifying bentonite clay, this powder can actually lift away stains and rid your mouth of germs (plus, you know it'll make one hilariously gross selfie). Or perhaps you've done the charcoal powder already, and you're resigned to settling for less-than-fresh breath. Instead of chomping on sugary gum in between meals, upgrade your breath refresher to an all-natural plant stick (called miswak), which has been helping people combat mouth germs since ancient Greek times.

A brighter smile and fresher breath are close — right within your grasp — possibly even just one tongue scraper's length away.

Brighten Smile & Brush Away Germs With Charcoal Powder

Natural Whitening Tooth & Gum Powder, $10, Amazon

Who would have thought that brushing a bunch of black ash into your teeth would have such beneficial results? This nonabrasive organic powder uses activated bamboo charcoal and bentonite clay to pull plaque-causing build-up and toxins out of your mouth — lifting stains right along with it. The powder is safe for sensitive teeth because it whitens without hydrogen peroxide or fluoride, and its 100 percent organic peppermint and cinnamon extract will freshen breath while it brightens your smile. One fans of the daily toothpaste alternative said, "I continue to be impressed with this product. It really shines your teeth and keeps them white."

Polish Teeth With Antimicrobial Miswak Sticks

Miswak Club Natural Teeth Whitening Kit , $20, Amazon

If you're already in the routine of reaching for gum when you're bored, try switching it out for a chewing stick from the miswak plant. Chewing sticks that improve oral hygiene have been around since ancient times, and these miswak sticks contain antimicrobial properties that fight back against mouth germs and bad breath toxins. Plus, this kit keeps the miswak sticks in hygienic carrying cases, so you don't have to waste one if you're not quite finished yet. If you don't see whiter teeth in 30 days, you even have two months to return them for a full, money-back guarantee. But reviewers are seriously amazed — one even said, "I feel like we've been let in on a worldly secret of dental care that others have known about for centuries."

Fortify Teeth Suffering From Weak Enamel With Mineral Powder

The Dirt Organic Tooth Brushing Powder, $20, Amazon

Mineral loss in teeth can happen when your enamel has been worn down, whether from intense whitening products or a penchant for soda (you might have noticed extra-white teeth spots from demineralization). Remineralizing your teeth means strengthening them against sources of tooth decay, and this organic tooth brushing powder could put you on that path. It has bentonite clay to pull out toxins, while baking soda gets to work whitening your teeth. The spicy orange flavor from organic saigon cinnamon and nutmeg offers a refreshing change from everyday mint, and one user said they finally woke up without a "fuzzy feeling" on their teeth. They said, "I love the flavor, cinnamon with a hint of orange, and love how little needs to be used in order to accomplish the job!"

Refresh Breath On-the-Go With Cooling Menthol & Peppermint

EO Refreshed Certified Organic Breath Spray (12 bottles), $27, Amazon

One of the most annoying things about bad breath is it's tough to plan ahead — some days you're completely unaffected. But for days when something's off, tuck away a surefire solution that won't irritate your mouth with an unnatural burning feeling (or use irritating synthetic chemicals to get the job done). This portable, certified organic breath spray uses concentrated essential clove and peppermint oils, as well as menthol, to keep your breath cool and refreshed. One bottle lasts for more than 100 sprays, and this one comes with 12, so you've got the go-ahead to request extra garlic on those lunch rolls. One reviewer said they now store these 12 sprays in purses, desk drawers, and other just-in-reach spots, and said, "I have been looking for a breath spray without a lot of harmful ingredients and works. This is it."

Painlessly Whiten Teeth & Freshen Breath With Coconut Oil Spray

Coconut Oil Remineralizing Tooth Spray, $13, Amazon

This coconut oil teeth spray is an awesome natural alternative for people with really sensitive teeth, who can't do toothpastes containing harsh (and often irritating) whitening chemicals. This spray uses coconut oil's natural antibacterial properties to fight back against demineralization (which can show up as those extra-white spots on your teeth). Because this spray also contains the teeth strengthening agent Theobromine (a naturally occurring chemical found in cacao), it even strengthens and remineralizes teeth, in addition to whitening and freshening breath. Plus, its peppermint oil, sea salt, and elm extract combat dry mouth — another cause of bad breath. One fan of the spray said, "It is also a good, non-burning breath freshener and helps alleviate dry mouth. I have re-ordered twice."

Restore Calcium & Protein For Teeth With Blue Green Algae

Jason Sea Fresh Toothpaste, $6, Amazon

Get your teeth some much-needed calcium and protein from blue green algae in this anti-plaque toothpaste, which also works to detoxify your teeth with bamboo stem powder. The formula uses parsley and spearmint to refresh bad breath, and the lack of artificial chemicals means it's safe for those with more sensitive teeth. Reviewers looking for fluoride-free options said this one doesn't contributed to mouth irritation. One said, "It feels and tastes great in my mouth. I think I'll stick with this one for a very long time."

Combine Mouthwash & Toothpaste With Rosemary Oil Brushing Rinse

Brushing Rinse, $12, Amazon

If your oral care is suffering from your lack of time, don't skip steps, combine them! This peppermint brushing rinse is part toothpaste, part mouthwash, and all-natural — good news for those with teeth too sensitive for stronger whitening products. Organic aloe vera calms and soothes any irritation, while organic essential oils like peppermint, rosemary, lemon, eucalyptus and cinnamon ensure your breath becomes refreshed. Reviewers of the rinse say they were skeptical about switching to an all-natural rinse, but one said, "I find that not only does my mouth feel good, but after 2-3 weeks my teeth are noticeably whiter."

When Brushing & Rinsing Fails, Scrape Instead

SoFresh Travel Foldable Tongue Scraper, $4, Amazon

Studies show that tongue coating (that build-up of gunk on the back of your tongue) can significantly contribute to halitosis (aka bad breath). When your brush isn't cutting it, a foldable tongue scraper like this one can help keep your tongue free from bacterial debris and build-up. It's easily stored for on-the-go fixes from stinky, lingering lunches, and users say this particular tool does the job comfortably. One reviewer said, "This folds and fits nicely in the pocket of my purse, and the handle is very sturdy when expanded."

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