Get Rid of Garlic Breath

Garlic is an important, must-have ingredient in a huge variety of meals and you can’t make a good tomato sauce without it. Health-wise, it is an excellent source of vitamins and packed with anti-oxidants. Although garlic has many health-boosting benefits, it is also a conversation killer, thanks to its potent aroma. The lingering, nasty breath (also known as halitosis) is the price many garlic lovers have to pay in exchange for a tasty meal.

In this article, we’ll look at different ways to effectively mask and neutralize garlic breath, while leaving your mouth refreshed in a pleasant way.

An Apple (or Mint) a Day Takes Your Breath Away

What makes garlic, onions and other food detectible by our noses are the volatiles – molecules that are so small that they drift into the air. In garlic, the volatiles responsible for garlic breath include allyl methyl sulphide (AMS), allyl mercaptan and diallyl disulphide.

According to a research conducted to combat garlic breath, raw apples and mint leaves are found to be effective in reducing the concentration of volatiles right after consuming garlic. Munching on raw apples immediately after a garlicky meal will inhibit the genetic activity of bacteria that produces foul odor in your mouth while mint leaves are known to have germicidal qualities which quickly freshens the breath.

If toting raw apples in your bag during lunch time sounds inconvenient, you may opt for an apple juice or mint juice instead. Perhaps, an apple pie might work too. However choosing to eat apple pie instead won't be as effective as it lacks the enzymes and phenolic compounds found in their raw counterparts.

Sip Milk

When garlic is consumed, a sulphuric compound called allyl methyl sulphide (AMS), does not break down during digestion, causing it to be released when you exhale and through the skin pores. Even brushing your teeth immediately after a garlicky meal will not solve the problem. However, garlic lovers can now breathe a fresh smelling sigh of relief for there is a simple antidote in the fridge.

Food scientists revealed that 200ml of milk can significantly reduce the presence of AMS in the breath. They concluded that water and fat in milk neutralizes sulphur, which means that full-fat milk is way better than skimmed milk, unless you’re lactose intolerant of course.

Suck on a Lemon

Lemon has many health benefits, including the ability to fend off garlic breath. The acidic properties of a lemon neutralize garlic odor by destroying the enzyme alliinase, which triggers the breakdown of allicin into compounds responsible for garlic breath. You can simply suck on sliced lemon right after your meal.

Going Green

Include plenty of vegetables in your meals, as leafy greens such as lettuce, spinach, etc can also help combat the post-garlic stench. Lettuce and spinach contains polyphenols, a compound that counteracts AMS, the odor causing volatiles. It’s best to go for raw greens in this case so just make a habit of eating lettuce salad with your garlicky meal. Alternatively, you can just pile lots of lettuce in your salad!

If you continue to suffer from bad breath on a regular basis (known as halitosis) despite swearing off garlic completely, the best cure may be your dentist or hygienist. At Smilefocus, bad breath is something that we deal with frequently, so don't be shy to seek help if your bad breath persist, as it can also be a sign of other serious problems. We'll help identify the cause of your bad breath and develop a treatment plan for you. Call us at 6834 0877 or book your dental appointment here.

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