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Banish Bad Breath

Body+Soul, October 2007

While chomping on gum can mask bad breath, truly freshening your mouth calls for killing the bacteria causing that uninviting odor. Brushing, flossing, and tongue-scraping should do the trick, but these remedies from Richard Fischer, D.D.S., can also help.

Fennel
Why It Works
Chewing on fennel seeds stimulates saliva production (key for stopping bad breath).

How to Use It
Pop a small handful of seeds after a pungent meal. (Gnawing on fresh mint, anise seeds, or parsley can also help.)

Probiotics
Why It Works
These friendly bacteria can help prevent bad breath by restoring your body's balance between good bugs and bad bugs.

How to Use It
Take a probiotics supplement such as acidophilus, or include more yogurt, kefir, and other fermented foods in your daily diet.

Peppermint or Cinnamon Essential Oils
Why It Works
Antibacterial peppermint and cinnamon essential oils can help wipe out stinky sulfur compounds left behind by garlic or onions.

How to Use It
Place one or two drops of peppermint or cinnamon oil on your tongue; do not ingest more than this amount.