Bad breath, or halitosis, can be caused by a number of underlying factors. For that reason, it is difficult to determine the absolute best bad breath cure. There are a number of different methods to try, though the simplest place to begin is to simply make sure the mouth is clean. Plaque and bacteria in the mouth are a large contributing factor to bad breath, so brushing and flossing two to three times per day is one of the best ways to prevent bad breath.
Bad breath is commonly caused by eating pungent foods, such as onions or garlic. Tobacco, coffee, and alcohol are also huge contributors. In addition to foods, bad breath may be caused by bacteria building up on the tongue, which may give the tongue a whitish appearance, or by a chronic dry mouth. Diets that limit food intake, particularly low-carbohydrate diets, can also cause bad breath. In addition, medical conditions can cause an unpleasant breath odor, including gum disease, diabetes, gastrointestinal diseases, and sinus and respiratory infections, among others.
The best bad breath cure for eating onions and garlic is simply time; they must work their way out of the system. Otherwise, brushing and flossing the teeth immediately after a meal to remove any food particles is the quickest bad breath cure. If it is not possible to brush, at least rinse the mouth with water. In addition, some natural bad breath cures include chewing some spearmint, a sprig of parsley, or even carrots. Eating plain yogurt regularly can improve bad breath as well.
Another effective bad breath cure is to use a tongue scraper. These tools remove the whitish bacteria build-up on the tongue, and can significantly improve bad breath. Gently brushing the tongue with the toothbrush works as well. Some recommend rinsing the mouth regularly with hydrogen peroxide, but be sure not to swallow it.
Though mouthwash can be effective against bad breath, it is important not to use it too frequently. Alcohol-based mouthwash should never be used more than once or twice a day, as it will kill all of the "good" bacteria in the mouth as well, and can cause an overgrowth of halitosis-causing bacteria. A dry mouth can cause bad breath as well, so it is important to drink enough water throughout the day to prevent dryness. Chronic dry mouth is known as xerostomia, and can be caused by various medications. If bad breath is persistent and unexplainable, a visit to the doctor may be in order to rule out any medical conditions and find an effective bad breath cure.