woman covering her mouth

Got a big date or an important presentation at work? The last thing you want is bad breath! Sometimes a breath mint or mouthwash just won’t cut it, and prevention can be the key to escaping a potentially embarrassing moment.

Bad breath, technically known as halitosis, can be a chronic issue, but it can also be related to your diet. The most well-known offenders are onions and garlic, but there are other foods that can cause foul breath. The best way to combat halitosis is good dental hygiene (brush that tongue too!), but if you are especially concerned about breath, avoid these particular foods and drinks before your big moment:

Anything that can make your mouth dry. 

This can include many foods, and alcohol. Saliva washes out the bacteria that causes bad breath, and without it, the bacteria is free to linger in your mouth and cause an unwanted odor.

Sugar 

Sugar increases the bacteria in your mouth, so consumption of very sugary mints, drinks, or foods can cause bad breath. Keep your mints and gum sugar free, and avoid high sugar content when faced with an important social situation.

Very acidic foods 

Foods containing a lot of acid, such as citrus, can fuel bacteria and cause bad breath.

 

Remember: frequent brushing, flossing, and staying hydrated can go a long way in preventing bad breath. If you are experiencing chronic bad breath, it could be a sign of another medical or dental issue, such as cavities, acid reflux, food trapped in your tonsils, or other issues. Talk to your dentist if you are concerned–remember–they have heard it before and can help!