6 Ways To Freshen Your Breath After Eating Garlic Or Onion

Written by Indrani Karmakar  • 

Imagine going on a date, ordering a spicy meal with a side salad, and then realizing that your breath is sabotaged by the smell of garlic and onion. In many cultures, onion and garlic are used as condiments to enhance the flavor and scent of a wide range of foods. Both chemicals, however, leave a strong odor which might be embarrassing in social situations, especially dates! This is when you realize your first impression will go down the drain. Thankfully correcting foul odor is relatively simple, especially if it is the doings of foods like garlic and onion. Here in this article are a few hacks to neutralize the smell and save the day! Read on to know all.

1. Rinse Your Mouth With Mouthwash Containing Baking Soda

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Scientific studies suggest that chlorine dioxide can kill off bad breath causing germs in your mouth (1). Garlic and onion breath can be masked by mouthwash containing this component, mainly if it includes strong fragrances like peppermint. Keep in mind, though, that if you use a mouthwash containing this chemical, you should take special care not to ingest any of it. Chlorine dioxide has significant side effects and symptoms if swallowed (2). Onion breath can also be eliminated with sodium bicarbonate. Baking soda, as it is more generally known, has been demonstrated in studies to be effective against germs found in the mouth (3). Hence, it is advised that you use baking soda to rinse your mouth. Two tablespoons of baking soda diluted in a cup of hot water can serve as a homemade mouthwash. Gargle with it for 30 seconds before spitting it out.

2. Bite Into An Apple, Lettuce, Or Mint

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Eating fresh apples, lettuce, and even fresh mint can help mask the smell of garlic on your breath, according to research (4). So if you must have garlic with your dinner, follow it up with an apple for dessert or fresh mint for refreshments. Even though it might not be as effective as baking soda, it can be the second-best choice to save the day!

3. Drink A Glass Of Milk Or A Cup Of Green Tea

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Dentists recommend drinking milk or green tea after eating garlic or onions to mask the strong odor. Also, there is some evidence that whole milk is more efficient than fat-free milk in neutralizing the smell of garlic (5). Green tea’s antibacterial and deodorizing effects have been shown in studies to reduce unpleasant odors (6). So now you know what to order if you suspect bad breath on a date!

4. Try Lemon Juice

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Consuming lemon juice is recommended by dentists to eliminate the pungent odors of garlic and onions. When you’re done eating a lot of garlic or onions, you can bite out of a wedge of a lemon. In addition, the smell of onions can be mitigated by rinsing your mouth using lemon water. Two or three times a day, take 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice with 1 cup of water. After trying this, it is important to rinse your mouth with water to remove any lingering citric acid.

5. Drink Water And Chew Gum

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After eating, rinse your mouth thoroughly with water to flush away any lingering odor-causing germs, onions, and garlic residue that may have accumulated on your teeth and tongue. Sugar-free gum, especially minty flavors, can provide the same masking and freshening effects without the added calories.

6. Brush Your Teeth Properly

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Brushing, flossing, and cleansing your tongue can help eliminate lingering odors of onions and garlic. Doing so can assist in removing the odor-causing bacteria and food particles contributing to foul breath. Make sure you clean the hood of the mouth and your tongue in addition to your teeth after an odorous meal. For enhanced effectiveness, try using a tongue cleaner.

These hacks can save your day when you are outdoors and have no choice but to grub on the onion salad or garlic pickle. Thankfully, you know exactly what to do to keep the odor from making people distance themselves from you. Also, a gross but helpful tip, most people examine their breath by breathing out into their cupped palms and smelling it. However, that is not half of what others can sense. The best way to find how your mouth smells is to clean your wrist with a sanitizer, let it dry, and then lick a small part of your wrist and smell it. This is what your mouth smells like. Once you are done, wipe your wrist with a clean wipe to avoid infections. So, which of these above tricks are you going to try next? Let us know in the comments section!

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