03/10/23 Spicy Foods and Bad Breath

One question we are often asked is how do you prevent or get rid of bad breath that is caused by eating strong smelling or spicy foods?

Firstly we need to understand why spicy foods can cause odourous breath. Foods like onion, garlic and spices can stick to the tongue and as we swallow them the chemicals from these strong smelling foods enter our bloodstream and we breathe them out through our lungs and sweat them out from our pores.

Some people suggest eating dairy foods such as sour cream or drinking milk to get rid of the taste and smell but personally I think it’s great to use dairy to use as a cooling effect for spicy foods but for me, dairy makes bad breath worse (though this might not be the case for everyone). So what do you do?

Spicy and odourous foods are fine if you aren’t seeing anyone the same evening or next day but we often are and although we won’t be able to smell our own breath ourselves, others can.

What foods tend to be the culprits for causing smelly breath?

Dairy, garlic, onion, coffee, citrus foods and canned tuna are the worst culprits for smelly breath. We don’t want to stop eating these foods but need to understand how to get rid of the smelly breath that comes afterwards.

What can you do to prevent bad breath after eating certain foods?

It’s been suggested that you should brush and floss your teeth straight after eating these strong smelling and tasting foods. Firstly, brushing your teeth after acidic or spicy foods is not recommended. You won’t be carrying a toothbrush around with you anyway and also, the acid that is in the acidic and spicy foods will destroy the enamel on your teeth if you brush too soon after eating them.

Parsley is a natural breath freshener and can mask or neutralise bad breath caused by these foods. Chewing it after or eating with your meal has benefits.

We suggest drinking (preferably) water during and particularly after the meal to rinse the spices from your mouth and tongue. If you are out on a date, firstly if both of you have eaten spicy foods, that’s fine! If its only you, drink water and rinse and slosh the water round in your mouth if you can before you swallow (without making it obvious). Then you could keep a tongue scraper in your pocket or a mini bottle of the ProFresh mouthwash. Head to the bathroom and scrape your tongue and the sides of the inside of your cheeks and spray your tongue, the sides of your mouth and the back of your mouth with ProFresh.  Don’t brush your teeth for at least half an hour after eating spicy or acidic foods.

If you can still smell or taste the spices the next morning, do the full ProFresh routine (rinse, scrape, rinse and brush teeth), keep sipping water and that should keep the worse of the food breath at bay.