When it comes to food that causes bad breath, not all food is created equal. Certain foods are prone to cause a foul smell to develop on people’s breath more quickly than others. Here is a list of types of food that leave a not so pleasant odor on your breath:

Foods That Contain Sugar

If you’re concerned about foods that cause bad breath, foods that contain sugar are probably the number one type of food to avoid. Sugary food creates harmful bacteria. This bacteria causes plaque build up on your teeth and gums. Avoid sugary drinks as well, such as soda and coffee.

Foods That Are Acidic

Foods with lower than a pH of 7 are considered acidic. Acidic food heightens the pH level in your mouth. Bacteria in your mouth thrive on this acidity. Some acidic foods include:

  • Lemons
  • Grapefruits
  • Oranges
  • Vinegar
  • Tomatoes
  • Beef
  • Peppers

Foods That Cause Dry Mouth

A dry mouth helps the bacteria that causes bad breath because these bacteria are killed when exposed to oxygen which is found in saliva. So, when your mouth is dry, it doesn’t have enough oxygen to kill this bad breath causing bacteria. Drinking alcohol and smoking are two habits that cause dry mouth.

Food That Easily Gets Stuck In Teeth

Saliva is a natural way for your mouth to break down food and rinse it off your teeth, but some foods are fibrous or sticky and easily get stuck in between teeth. These left behind particles fuel odor causing bacteria that lead to bad breath. Some foods that easily get stuck in or stain teeth include:

  • Meat
  • Popcorn
  • Caramel
  • Chewy Candy
  • Spinach
  • Banana
  • Coffee

Foods With A Strong Odor

Foods such as garlic, salsa, and onions are notorious for leaving a strong smell on your breath. The reason foods like garlic leave behind strong odor is because they contain sulfur compounds. These sulfur compounds are what bacteria produce that cause bad breath.

How To Get Rid Of Bad Breath

Now that you know the types of food that cause bad breath, here are a few tips on how to get rid of bad breath.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene

The easiest way to avoid bad breath is to practice good oral care. Brush and floss twice a day to remove the bacteria and plaque that cause bad breath. Also make sure to visit your dentist twice a year for a checkup and professional cleaning.

Clean Your Tongue

Your tongue is a breeding ground for harmful bacteria and is usually the reason for bad breath. Most people don’t clean their tongue as a part of their oral care routine. Try to brush your tongue every time you brush your teeth. You can also invest in a tongue scraper for a more effective cleaning.

Chew Sugar-free Gum

You might reach for a mint or a piece of gum to mask your bad breath, but if the mint or gum isn’t sugar-free, you are actually adding to the problem. Bacteria in your mouth ferment sugar, which lead to bad breath. So, next time you reach for a piece of gum, make sure it’s sugar free.

Stay Hydrated

Your saliva contains protective enzymes that kill bacteria, and when you have a dry mouth, you are contributing to your bad breath. Stay hydrated to help stimulate salivary glands. If you’re drinking tons of water but are still experiencing dry mouth, you should see your dentist.

Trisha Banks is a blogger for Lakeway Center for Cosmetic & Family Dentistry in Lakeway, Texas. Trisha wants to know what types of food cause bad breath and how to get rid of bad breath.

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