13 Things To Do When Eating To Ensure Your Breath Stays As Fresh As Possible

There are a few things that can ruin a date or meal out with company, and bad breath can certainly be considered one of them. Not only can bad breath make our parties' inch away, but it can also make us feel insecure to speak freely in conversation. Thus, it's important to take note of which habits that can keep breath fresh during mealtime, so that everyone at the table can feel confident and secure.

As a certified health coach, I work with clients on boosting hygiene, through proper self-care habits, and eating foods that can provide great nutrition. While some foods can cause stinky breath, most health foods and eating habits can actually promote great, fresh breath and can assist in cleaning and whitening teeth. Proper dental and tongue rituals can enhance wellbeing in the mouth, which will eliminate stench and the potential for other conditions, such as cavities. Keeping teeth clean when eating is the best way to maintain better breath, and while achieving a minty, cool breeze might not be possible, it's definitely easy to avoid the woes of foul odors that might alienate you from those around you. Here are thirteen ways to ensure that your breath stays as fresh as possible when eating.

1. End A Meal With Parsley

We've heard this often, and it is definitely not a myth. The content of chlorophyll in parsley can eliminate bad odors post-meal. "Chewing parsley after a meal can ease digestion, which can have a direct effect on breath," says certified healthy lifestyle coach, Liz Traines, over email correspondence with Bustle. Many restaurants garnish plates with parsley, so take advantage and let it finish off your meal.

2. Try A Tongue Scraper

"Using a tongue scraper in the morning and at night can remove bacteria from your tongue," says Traines. "It sounds gross, but this is a very typical source of bad breath," she adds. Tongue scrapers can help get rid of bacteria and other debris that might be resting on the tongue and causing bad odor. Go to a nearby drugstore to purchase.

Try: Dr. Tung's Tongue Cleaner, $8, Amazon

3. Add Fennel Seeds To Your Meal

"Indian culture uses fennel seeds to ease digestion, which can reduce halitosis from forming bacterial growth," says Traines. Fennel has been very powerful in preventing such growth and in regulating our digestive system, and bad breath can be a symptom when digestive woes are present. Add fennel to your meal or finish a meal with fennel tea.

4. Drink Water

Drinking a lot of water before a meal, during a meal, and after a meal, can help flush bacteria out of the mouth and can promote fresher breath. Think about the morning: when we wake up, we experience "morning breath," which is foul and due to dehydration. Staying hydrated all day, and especially at mealtime, can keep breath cleaner.

5. Munch On Crunchy Fruits & Veggies

As you usually don't go out to eat with a toothbrush in your purse, let food do the brushing for you. Crunchy produce, such as apples, carrots and celery sticks, can enhance teeth's ability to stay whiter and fresher and can prevent bad breath. Order a meal that comes with crunchy produce as a side instead of something starchier or creamier that won't have the same effect.

6. Don't Eat Alliums

While the allium family, such as onions and garlic, are proven to be great anti-inflammatories and anti-bacterial, among other distinct benefits, they should be avoided if you are dining on a date or an important business meeting that you don't feel as comfortable with. Save garlic fries for outings solo or with people whom you feel familiar around.

7. Chew A Stick Of Gum Post-Meal

Experts share that chewing a stick of sugar-less gum, especially peppermint or minty flavored, can help get saliva moving in the mouth to clear up bad odors. Stash a pack in your bag when heading out to the restaurant and enjoy a stick post-meal. Plus, it'll help fight the tendency to overeat if you feel full, which can be a great for weight management and digestive health.

Try: PUR Aspartame-Free Gum, $4, Amazon

8. Brush Your Tongue

Before consuming a meal, brush your tongue with your toothbrush. This is especially important in the morning when we wake up, as we often forget to brush our tongues and only pay attention to our teeth. Bacteria can buildup on the tongue, which can lead to poor breath, so it's best to be mindful and to take precautionary measures each day.

9. Floss After Eating

After a meal, flossing can help get rid of bacteria in the crevices and backs of teeth and can better clean the gums. Flossing enhances dental hygiene and prevents the likelihood of bacteria from spreading in the mouth and resulting in chronic, poor breath. Trapped food, along with fresh food from the current meal, can be a disastrous duo.

Try: Waterpik Aquarius Water Flosser, $66, Amazon

10. Take A Probiotic With Meals

Eating a probiotic, whether through natural food sources, such as yogurt, kefir, kimchi, kombucha, miso or sourdough, among others, or by use of a supplement, can promote greater digestion and fresher breath. Taking probiotics once or twice a day is advisable, or you can take with each meal, especially if you experience frequent digestive distress.

Try: Gaia Source Probiotic, $25, Amazon

11. Take An Antacid Prior To A Meal

If you encounter chronic digestive pain, or happen to have a food intolerance or sensitivity, taking an antacid, such as TUMS, or a lactase pill (if you are lactose-intolerant, for instance), prior to consumption of food, can help eliminate bad odors in the mouth, as well as burping and gas.

12. Don't Smoke Cigarettes

Don't smoke before or after a meal (or really at all, because it's bad for you), as tobacco can create foul breath and dry out the mouth, no matter what you are eating or drinking. Such odors will linger, so avoid lighting up around mealtime in order to reduce your chances of having bad breath when dining out with company. If you absolutely must smoke, do so after a meal, once you have left your party.

13. Chew Something Citrus

Vitamin C, which is found in many fruits and vegetables, such as citrus fruits, kiwi, and bell peppers, can enhance breath's freshness. According to research, citric acid can stimulate salivary glands, which will eliminate mal odorous bacteria in the mouth. Chew on a rind that comes with a meal, or squeeze lemon or orange into your water for both extra flavor and breath benefits.

Put worries away when sitting down to meal with company, and feel safe to engage in conversation, odor-free, with these breath-boosting tips. Stinky breath is never fun, for your or those around you, so by taking care of your teeth and tongue and paying attention to the items on your plate, you can keep your breath nice and fresh for the longterm.

Images: Pexels (10); Pixabay (4)

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