Dentists share their 8 easy fixes for stinky breath.

Image: iStock.

Brushed your teeth, avoided the garlic but still find your breath, ahem, stinks? Turns out bad breath isn’t just limited to those with poor oral hygiene.

“Bad breath (halitosis) is caused by a build-up of bacteria in the mouth, usually under the gums or in cavities,” explains leading Australian dentist and Oral-B spokesperson Dr Christopher Ho.

Alongside the obvious gum disease and cavities, the foods you eat can play a large part – onions and garlic are known to contain smelly sulphur compounds, while even having milk in your coffee can act as a food source for bacteria.

It’s a similar case for meat; proteins and fibres can easily get suck between teeth which then encourages bacteria. Wham –  suddenly your mouth smells like something crawled in and died there.

If you’re someone who often finds you have a dry, pasty mouth, you can probably expect your breath to get a bit whiffy.

“The lack of saliva, which can be caused by certain medications, stress, some medical conditions, and aging, allows bacteria to proliferate  in the mouth, often causing and acidic mouth, which has a bad odour,” explains Shore Dental principal dental hygienist Leanne Amber.

So what can you do about it?

1. Drink Water

“This will help you stay hydrated and wash any bacteria away,” says Dr Ho. Try and keep a bottle with you at all times to ensure you’re drinking regularly. (Post continues after gallery.)


2. Nibble on some lemon

Citrus fruits like lemon can help beat bad breath as the acidity help saliva flow, which then washes away bacteria.

“You’ve got to be careful though as too much acidity can cause tooth erosion,” he warns.

3. Eat mint or parsley

There’s a reason mints are, well, mint flavoured.

Both herbs are good quick-fix options, particularly parsley thanks to its high levels of chlorophyll, which studies have found is excellent at neutralising bad breath and odours short term. (Post continues after video.)

4. Green tea

Try switching your daily coffee to green tea.

“The antioxidants in green tea can help reduce the chances of bad breath,” explains Dr Ho. The bonus? These antioxidants will also give you a wealth of other health benefits.

5. Chew gum

Pop a packet of (sugar-free!) chewing gum in your bag and use to stimulate saliva flow

Sugar-free and you're on to a winner. Image: iStock

6. Apples

Fibrous fruits and veggies like apples are also great as they are able to dislodge even the tiniest particles of food that get stuck in your teeth that eventually lead to bad breath.

7. Use a mouth wash

Opting for something like the Oral-B 3D White Diamond Strong Mouth Rinse will help kill germs and keep your breath fresh overnight when your mouth can often be at its driest.

8. Brush day and night

Simple but very effective.

"Flossing and Pikster-ing your teeth daily will prevent the build-up of plaque and disease causing bacterium," says Amber.

"Also have regular dental checks for decay and visit your dental hygienist regularly for maintenance of your gum tissues."

What do you do to combat bad breath?