3 Tips to Combat Garlic Breath

April 19 is National Garlic Day, and if you’re celebrating by eating a meal that contains this tasty bulb, you might be interested in simple ways to get rid of the bad breath that will soon follow. Over the years, I have found three things that work to remove garlic breath. They are:

1. Parsley

The best way to get rid of garlic breath is to chew on parsley. Chewing on this herb – especially the stems – will neutralize the odor associated with garlic breath. The polyphenols in parsley act like antioxidants and break down the smelly sulfur compounds in garlic.

2. Mouth wash

Rinsing with Listerine for 30 seconds can help remove garlic breath. However, the best mouth rinse for the job is a professional rinse called Closys. This seems to work the best out of everything I’ve tried. It eliminates the bacteria associated with bad breath better than other rinses, and it also eliminates volatile sulfur compounds that are found in garlic. As a bonus, Closys is unflavored and doesn’t have the medicinal taste that people usually associate with Listerine.

3. Basic oral hygiene practices

Garlic breath can be mechanically removed from your mouth with basic oral hygiene practices. Brushing and flossing your teeth, combined with using a tongue scraper, will remove the garlic particles and sulfur compounds that remain in your mouth after a garlicky meal.

Ever wonder what causes garlic breath? Behind the off-putting odor is the chemical compound allyl methyl sulfide. The naturally occurring sulfoxide, which is found in fresh garlic, is converted into allicin when garlic is chopped or crushed – thus creating the familiar aroma associated with garlic. When trying to get rid of garlic breath, you are really just removing the allicin from your mouth.

Don’t let the fear of garlic breath keep you from enjoying the flavor in your meals. When you’re out celebrating National Garlic Day today, ask for a heavy parsley salad to go!

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