11 Halitosis Remedies to Help You Get Rid of Bad Breath

Updated: May 11, 2021

No matter what the cause is, bad breath and halitosis can be treated from home using natural remedies.

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What are some causes and cures for bad breath?

Bad breath can have many different causes, from smoking cigarettes to the medications you take to the foods you eat. There are, however, some small changes and at-home treatments you can try as bad breath remedies before consulting your doctor. Whether you’re suffering from horrible morning breath or worry about bacteria buildup over the course of your day, here’s how to get rid of bad breath with easy, natural solutions.

woman putting toothpaste on toothbrush, brushing her teeth

Brush AND floss

When determining how to get rid of bad breath, one of the easiest ways is to ensure that you have great dental hygiene. Brush and floss every day (and twice a day if possible) to reduce odorous bacteria in the mouth. Though skipping flossing may be tempting, it removes bits of food caught between teeth, which can cause bacterial growth (and halitosis) when ignored. (Check out these surprising ways you’re flossing wrong.) You should also replace your toothbrush every two to three months so the bristles do not weaken over time and clean your teeth less effectively. If your halitosis still persists, you’ll need to take further steps to treat it.

woman Brushing teeth

Clean your tongue

The tongue can be a breeding ground for smelly bacteria in your mouth, but it’s often overlooked when people brush. After brushing your teeth, use your toothbrush to brush your tongue as well. Or, invest in a tongue scraper as one of the more high-tech bad breath remedies. Now, find out what your tongue can reveal about your health.

Buying bottle of water


Here’s how to get rid of bad breath in ten seconds or less: Take a swig of water. A common cause of halitosis is a dry mouth. The slowing of saliva production encourages the growth of bacteria that causes your breath to smell, which can help explain why you have horrible breath in the morning. Alleviate dry mouth by hydrating often, especially when you wake up, or during and after exercising. These are times dry mouth is most likely to occur.

Colorful apples
iStock/Marek Mnich

Watch what you eat

Some foods are known to cause bad breath, so one of the simplest bad breath remedies is to simply not eat them. Avoid foods that are highly acidic or high in fructose, as both encourage bacteria production. For a quick and easy snack that will help curb bad breath, reach for an apple or some yogurt. Apples are high in fiber and contain the heteropolysaccharide pectin, which stimulates saliva production, while the active cultures in yogurt will reduce bacteria in the mouth. Here are 7 surprising foods that give you seriously bad breath.

Mouth wash
iStock/Claudio Baldini

Use mouthwashes (but only some)

Though mouthwash is purported to freshen breath, most will only mask unpleasant smells on a temporary basis. If you’re going to use mouthwash as a solution for bad breath, select a product that fights plaque to prevent bacterial growth, which will actually help treat halitosis as opposed to just covering it up. For an easy, alcohol-free mouthwash you can make at home, mix a cup of water with a teaspoon of baking soda and a few drops of peppermint oil. The baking soda will squelch odor by adjusting the pH of your mouth and the peppermint will add a boost of freshness. Just be sure not to swallow the mixture! Check out these other surprising uses for mouthwash.

Fennel seeds in a small wooden bowl on an old wooden table.
Piccia Neri/Shutterstock

Eat fennel seeds

Wondering how to get rid of bad breath using only your spice cabinet? Chew on a handful of anise or fennel seeds, which have antiseptic properties that limit bacterial growth. Their scents can also cover up stinky breath.

Cinnamon sticks and cinnamon powder on wood

Suck on a cinnamon stick

Like cloves and fennel seeds, cinnamon is an effective antiseptic. Plus, it has essential oils that kill germs and will leave your mouth smelling nice. Check out these 9 things bad breath reveals about your health.

Organic cloves

Bite into a clove

This spice is rich in eugenol, a pale yellow oil that has antibacterial properties. To reap its benefits, put one clove in your mouth and bite into it. The oil may burn slightly, so keep moving the clove over your tongue. Once it’s covered your mouth, spit out the clove. Avoid using clove oil or powdered cloves, which could burn your mouth.

citrus peel

Chew a fruit rind

Rinse off a lemon or orange rind before popping it in your mouth to chew on it. It will give your breath a burst of freshness and the citric acid will encourage glands to produce more saliva. Don’t miss these 8 other foods that will freshen your breath almost instantly.

Rustic Basil

Munch on a green plant

Parsley, basil, mint, or cilantro all work as bad breath remedies because they contain chlorophyll, a pigment that neutralizes odors.

Removable partial denture

Remove your dentures

If you wear dentures, remove them at nighttime and clean them daily to prevent odor-causing bacteria buildup. Next, read up on the 12 things your bad breath is trying to tell you.