a woman scraping her tongue in the mirror for good oral hygiene

Nine Ways to Cure Bad Breath in Two Minutes or Less

What do the moments before a job interview, sharing a first kiss, and getting out of bed have in common? They're all times when you want to have fresh breath. Some people suffer from persistent bad breath. Others only notice their halitosis when it's extra awful. Bad breath can be caused by gum disease as well as other illnesses such as sinus infections, stomach ailments and diabetes.

If you are seeing a dentist or hygienist regularly for professional cleanings and do not have unresolved gum disease, and if you do not have any other illnesses, then, like most of us, you may be looking for options to control bad breath from time to time. You can use the nine methods below to freshen your breath.


When your breath smells its worst, try these tried-and-true cures.

1. Brush Your Teeth and Tongue
This solution may be obvious, but it's also reliable. Toothpaste, a toothbrush, dental floss, and some fresh water combine to become your best bet for banishing bad breath. Brushing your teeth and tongue clears away odour-causing bacteria and leaves your mouth with that minty-fresh sensation.

If you don't have toothpaste handy, you can use baking soda as an alternative. Baking soda will neutralize the acid inside your mouth, a common cause of bad breath.

2. Use Mouthwash
Mouthwash fixes bad breath fast, perfect for when you're rushing out the door. Just swish this minty liquid around your mouth for 30 seconds to a minute.

However, it is not good to use alcohol based mouthwashes too often – once or twice a day maximum. You can also create your own mouthwash with tea tree oil and water. Put a few drops of the oil in a glass of water. Then swig, gargle, and spit as you would with store-bought mouthwash. The tea tree oil acts as a natural disinfectant.

3. Chew Sugar-Free Gum
Mint-flavoured gum is the perfect on-the-go solution for bad breath. Just a few seconds of chewing replaces the bad odours with a crisp, pleasant taste. A few flavours even earn the Canadian Dental Association's seal of approval.

Chewing gum is also compact enough to travel with you everywhere. You can keep some handy in your wallet, purse, or glove compartment.

Read the label when you buy chewing gum to ensure that you've chosen a sugar-free variety.

4. Pop a Mint in Your Mouth
Most candy mints contain sugar, so they aren't the most tooth-friendly breath fresheners. Still, they will mask bad smells temporarily, so feel free to enjoy them sparingly.

When you buy mints, look for those with low amounts of sugar and other carbohydrates. Those ingredients can linger on teeth and feed cavity-causing bacteria.


Many foods and spices have natural breath-cleansing properties. Turn to these ingredients for a quick jolt of fresh breath.

5. Bite Down on Parsley
Remember the green sprig of garnish leftover on your dinner plate at restaurants? It's parsley and it's loaded with chlorophyll. Chlorophyll has a reputation for deodorizing breath, thanks to its mild germ-fighting powers.

You can munch on parsley to give your breath a quick pick-me-up. You don't need to swallow it, though. You might want to check your smile in the mirror after trying this, since parsley leaves easily lodge between teeth.

6. Spice Up Your Mouth
Many spices have the power to change your mouth from gross to grand in a matter of seconds. For a fast breath fix, raid the nearest spice rack and recruit these ingredients to your cause:
• A cinnamon stick—suck on it for several seconds.
• Cloves—put one in your mouth, gently bite into it, move it around with your tongue, and remove it.
• Fennel, dill, or cardamom seeds—chew on a small portion for about 10 seconds, and then spit them out.

7. Chew Some Citrus
Citrus fruit rinds house delicious-smelling oils. Chewing on some lemon or orange peel will give your mouth the same pleasant aroma. Plus, the act of chewing activates your salivary glands. The fresh saliva in your mouth will reduce the halitosis.

If you don't like the idea of biting into the rind, bite into a segment of the fruit itself. But don't trust lemons as a go-to breath-freshener. Citric acid damages your enamel when consumed in excess.

8. Choose an Apple
You've heard that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but did you know it could vanquish bad breath too? Apples can't replace your toothbrush, but you can trust their fibrous texture to reach between teeth and clear out leftover food bits.

If you prefer liquid mouth refreshment, use apple cider vinegar to make an effective mouthwash. Stir a teaspoon of it into a glass of water and gargle with the mixture for 10 seconds.


Unfortunately, you sometimes realize you have bad breath when you don't have a mint, a toothbrush, or a well-stocked pantry nearby. In that situation, turn to this trick:

9. Swish Water around Your Mouth
Pour yourself a big glass of water and savour it. With each sip you take, swish the liquid around your mouth. Use your tongue to help it reach all the corners and crevices. Drinking a glass or two of water before bed may also keep your morning breath at bay.

Turn to these bad breath solutions next time you notice an unpleasant taste or smell in your mouth. For more oral hygiene tips, read through our other blog posts or CONTACT OUR RED DEER DENTAL CLINIC at 403-342-1118.