Freshen Up for National Fresh Breath Day

Garlic and onions may be tasty staples that add flavor to many dishes, but there’s at least one place they’re not welcome: on your breath! In honor of National Fresh Breath Day (August 6), we rounded up a few items that are sure to leave you in need of a breath mint.

Coffee. A little molecule called 3-mercapto-3-methylbutylformate (don’t worry – there’s no test at the end) is the reason behind your 9 a.m. coffee breath.1 If you’re worried about offending coworkers with the odor that coffee leaves behind in your mouth, pop into the bathroom to swish with mouthwash before your next meeting.

Garlic. Blame sulfur particles for your stinky breath after eating Caesar salad or garlic bread. The particles linger on the tongue and in the stomach, and then mingle with the gases in your body to produce infamous garlic breath. Milk sometimes masks the odor, but you’ll definitely want to attack the problem with traditional methods such as rinsing with mouthwash, brushing your teeth, and flossing.2

Onions. When mixed with gastric chemicals, the odor compound in onions emits a smell like rotten eggs. That’s why you should brush after eating anything containing onions – and pay special attention to your gums.

Eggs. They may be a great source of protein – but eggs can also leave behind a powerful smell. One of the main components of eggs is cysteine, which breaks down in the mouth and stomach to create hydrogen sulfide, producing a breath-busting odor.

If we named one of your favorite foods, never fear: You don’t have to give them up completely. Just chew some gum or pop a mint (both sugar-free, of course), and be sure to brush and floss afterward to get rid of any lingering food particles.


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