Best Home Remedies For Bad Breath: Things That Really Work

We all want fresh breath so we can smile, laugh, and interact with others freely without worrying about what they might be thinking about our breath. Do you dread that awkward moment when you realize your breath smells less than fresh? It’s a situation faced by millions of people around the world.


Male with bad breath

Bad breath, or halitosis, is an unpleasant condition caused primarily by the buildup of bacteria in the mouth. Certain types of bacteria thrive on the tongue and between teeth, breaking down food particles and producing unpleasant odors. For most people, it’s a frustrating problem that affects social and professional relationships.

While most rush to gum or mints, instead of masking the problem, it’s better to target the source of the odor for long-lasting relief. Learning some easy home remedies that reduce these bacteria naturally can effectively treat bad breath at its root without chemicals.

Best Home Remedies For Bad Breath

There are effective solutions that don’t require a trip to the pharmacy or dentist. Most are things you have in your home, while some are easily accessible in the nearest store. Here are the best options you can give a try:

  • Practice Good and Consistent Oral Hygiene

Making oral hygiene part of your daily routine is essential to fresh breath. You’ll want to brush your teeth at least twice daily, once in the morning and before bedtime. According to the American Dental Association[1], brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing once daily is best. 

Start your day by brushing your teeth and cleaning away plaque and bacteria that have accumulated overnight. Brush again after eating to remove food particles and acids from foods that can cause decay. Try to brush for two to three minutes each time. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. 

When brushing, be thorough – gently brush each tooth individually, paying extra attention to problem areas. Don’t forget to also clean your tongue, which can harbor odor-causing bacteria. Also read: Best Treatment For gum Bleeding

Make flossing once per day a habit as well. Flossing removes food and plaque between teeth and below the gumline that your toothbrush cannot. Consistency with brushing, flossing, and cleaning your tongue daily helps remove food debris and reduce bacteria to keep bad breath at bay.  

  • Brush Your Tongue 

Many people forget to clean their tongues when brushing their teeth. However, the tongue is a prime spot for growing bad breath bacteria. Use the backside of your toothbrush or a tongue scraper to scrub the top surface of your tongue. Gently scrape from back to front to remove debris and bacteria. 

Look closely in the mirror to check for a white/yellow coating that should be removed. Cleaning your tongue properly removes odor-causing germs and leaves your whole mouth, including breath, feeling fresh. Make scrubbing your tongue part of your regular teeth-brushing routine for fresher breath throughout the day.

  • Change Toothbrush Regularly

For the most effective cleaning and best oral hygiene, changing your toothbrush every three to four months is important. Using the same toothbrush for too long allows bacteria to build up in the bristles and become less effective at removing plaque. You can also visibly see bristles becoming frayed and worn down. Also read: Best Home Remedies For Gum Bleeding

Set a schedule, such as changing your toothbrush at the start of each new season. Place a reminder on your calendar or phone every three months so you consistently use a new brush. Replacing your toothbrush frequently helps you achieve your best brushing and freshest possible breath.

  • Drink Plenty of Water

Our mouths can become dry, which allows bacteria to grow and leads to bad breath. Drinking enough water is important to keep your mouth moist. Aim to drink six to eight glasses of water per day. This helps produce saliva, which helps wash away food particles and bacteria.

Water also hydrates your mouth, making it less hospitable for growing germs. Water is often overlooked as part of oral care, but increasing your daily water intake can help freshen your breath naturally. Keep a water bottle with you to sip throughout the day. Water should be your go-to drink for fresh breath.

  • Baking Soda

Baking soda has natural deodorizing properties known to help battle bad breath. Thanks to its high alkaline content, it raises the pH levels in your mouth to make it inhospitable for the bacteria that cause odors. Read: How To Stop Bleeding Gum Fast?

Try making a homemade mouthwash by mixing one teaspoon of baking soda with one cup of warm water. Swish this solution in your mouth for one minute before spitting it out. 

While it is not the most pleasant home remedy, baking soda will raise the pH levels in your mouth, preventing bacteria overgrowth that causes odor. Use this mouthwash after meals and brushings for extra freshness. 

You can dip your toothbrush in baking soda and brush as usual to scrub power against germs. Adding this affordable ingredient to your oral hygiene routine fights bad breath effectively.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar

Raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid that can eliminate bad breath-causing bacteria. Adding one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a glass of warm water and gagging the solution in your mouth will relieve the bad breath.

Be careful not to swallow. You have to let it sit for 30 seconds before rinsing it with water to give it time to work. The antibacterial properties in ACV help remove the buildup of bacteria on the tongue and teeth, leaving your entire mouth cleaner and fresher. Use this home gargle after eating problem foods or if you notice breath issues arising for fast relief.

  • Fennel Seeds

Chewing on a few fennel seeds or using ground fennel in your homemade mouthwashes can promote fresh breath. Fennel has compounds that create a licorice flavor and leave your mouth feeling clean. It also increases the pH of saliva becoming an anticariogenic agent.

Chew up to five fennel seeds after meals to help decrease odor-causing bacteria in your mouth. You can also add crushed fennel to baking soda or ACV mouthwashes for extra breath protection. 

These aromatic seeds are breath fresheners that are inexpensive, natural, and effective. Keep fennel seeds handy if you need quick help clearing bad breath.

  • Quit smoking

Smoking has many negative health consequences, and compromising oral health is one of them. The chemicals in cigarettes cause bad breath by producing odor compounds and raising the bacteria in your mouth. 

Smoking also damages your sense of smell and taste, making it harder to detect unpleasant odors. It stains teeth and leads to gum disease and oral cancer. 

If you smoke, quitting can dramatically improve your breath right away. Consider counseling and nicotine replacements to stop smoking and maintain long-term fresh breath. Your overall health and quality of life will thank you.

  • Avoid Certain Foods and Drinks

Certain indulgences like garlic, onions, coffee, and red wine can cause temporary bad breath if consumed excessively. Garlic and onions contain sulfur compounds that are released through your breath. 

Coffee and wine are acidic and allow bacteria to grow rapidly if the mouth is not cared for afterward. Try substituting these foods at times, or brush your teeth soon after eating them to minimize odors. 

Carbonated beverages like soda can also cause dry mouth, a trouble spot for bacteria. Opt for water frequently, which hydrates your mouth and washes away food debris and germs.

  • Clean Dental Fittings

If you wear dental appliances like dentures, braces, or a retainer, it’s important to properly clean them daily. A neglected appliance becomes a hotbed for odor-causing biofilm buildup. 

Carefully brush or soak dentures or other appliances in cleansing solution according to your dentist’s guidelines. This removes trapped food and germs when removed from the mouth each night. 

With retainers, brush with toothpaste to dissolve the biofilm that forms. Taking the time each day to sanitize all dental gear helps eliminate odors they may hold and keep your overall oral hygiene in top shape.

  • See Your Dentist Regularly

For a comprehensive check on your oral health and breath, schedule routine dental cleanings and exams with your dentist every six months. During a cleaning, the hygienist thoroughly scrapes above and below your gumline, polishes, and checks for any developing issues. 

Catching problems early is key to treatment. Your dentist can also evaluate factors like your risk for gum disease, which contributes to bad breath if left untreated. They may also have additional breath tips based on your unique oral health needs or concerns. Consistent professional care protects your pearly whites and gums and ensures fresh breath.


Bad breath should not be a source of embarrassment or insecurity. There are plenty of natural remedies and home treatments that can keep odors at bay. This includes brushing twice a day, flossing, scraping your tongue, and regularly changing your toothbrush. Natural options like baking soda, apple cider vinegar, fennel, and drinking more water also help keep your breath fresh. Avoid certain foods that cause odors, such as garlic, onions, coffee, and wine. Further, keep a routine cleaning schedule with your dentist for a comprehensive check on your oral health and breath. With these remedies, you can combat bad breath and keep it away for good.

Medical Discalimer: The information provided here On Geeks Health website is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you have or suspect a medical problem, promptly contact your healthcare provider. Reliance on any information in this response is solely at your own risk.
Dominique Rice
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