Many a times, when I ask my players to avoid having sweets or fruits immediately after a meal, their usual reply is, ‘oh! But, this is a very Indian thing. We don’t feel complete finishing the meal without a sweet or a fruit. We are accustomed to this post meal sweets ritual since ages and we need that to refresh the mouth and the breath from the typical smell of our spice rich meals!’Or else, most say they need to keep chewing some mint flavored gum or some artificially flavored mouth freshener when they are working for long hours or while travelling.
But, how about replacing these artificially flavored, preservatives added, empty calorie loaded mouth fresheners with more real,natural,very nutritious breath fresheners which are present in abundance in the nature and which are readily available in your kitchen cabinet?
Here I am enlisting few of them:
- Water: Dry mouth is the foremost reason behind that foul smelling breath. Drinking water more often keeps your mouth moist and promotes the release of saliva, the enzymes which keep cleansing the mouth from the growth and collection of foul smelling bacteria. You can make it more refreshing by infusing the water with the cut pieces of lemon, mint leaves and a small piece of ginger. Keep it overnight in the fridge and drink that water in the morning.
- Fennel seeds: Many of our elders still use these very refreshing seeds as an after meal ritual. Apart from giving a distinctive sweet taste to your mouth, they are excellent to prevent flatulence and acid reflux and promote the secretion of gastric juices for better absorption. Roast them, store in an air tight jar and chew them after the meals,
- Mint leaves: Why to go for an artificially scented mint flavored mouth freshener,when you can have the original and much more nutritious mint leaves in your kitchen garden or in your refrigerator. Chew the raw leaves or drink a mint tea by boiling them in water and experience an instant freshness in your breath.
- Parsley Leaves: Chew on the raw Parsley after the meals or garnish your curries with it.The recent studies suggest that this ancient herb may help in reducing the ‘garlic breath’ through a process of ‘enzymatic deodorization’.
- Lemon Candies: These very refreshing yet nutritious candies are handy when your mouth is dry for a long time and you want to moisten it with some freshener. Make the ice cubes by putting in the lemon juice mixed with water. The melting water in the mouth will moisten the mouth while the sourness of lemon juice andsucking action will start the secretion of saliva.
- Cinnamon: Chewing on cinnamon sticks kill the bad smelling bacteria by releasing essential oils in the mouth, and it’s peculiar taste is great to freshen you up..You can make cinnamon mouthwash as well by boiling few sticks in water and using the cooled down water for mouth wash.
- Citrus fruits like oranges and berries:These antioxidant rich fruits are again great to cleanse your mouth by destroying the toxins and the germs.Start your day with a fruit or have them as mid meal snacks,as these are the times when the mouth is usually dry for a longer time.
If the bad breath is not because of any underlying illness like tonsillitis or other buccal (oral) cavity infection, these are the sure way to feel refreshed throughout the day.
The bottom line is to figure out the reason behind that bad breath (like dry mouth,bad bacteria) and choose the right method or ingredient for yourself to get rid of the bad breath.