Is your breath ready for Nat.Garlic Day?

As we all prepare for April 19th National Garlic Day, it is a good idea to have a plan of action for your breath after celebrating this day.  We know, of course, the obvious ways to rid ourselves of bad breath “BRUSH FLOSS RINSE”. However, garlic can be a whole different beast requiring some less than orthodox treatments.

When garlic is consumed,  it seems to trigger elevated bacteria levels in the mouth. Initially, eating garlic you will have breath that smells like garlic,  but soon this breath turns even more rancid and sulfuric as the body is trying to get rid of the hydrogen sulfide which is a byproduct of garlic being ingested. (yummy, huh?)  Certain tastes and smells recirculate through the essential oils that they leave in your mouth.  It may take up to 24 hours to fully rid your mouth/body of the odor.

Here are some unconventional treatments to try out.

1.  MUSTARD:  Swish one teaspoon of mustard around in your mouth for a minute and then spit out.  Next, take another 1/2 teaspoon and swallow it.  This will try to treat the smell throughout the body.

2.  EAT SOME HERBS:  That sprig of parsley on your plate is not only decorative, but you can chomp on that after the meal to decrease smell.

3.  CHEW GUM:  Cinnamon gum has been know to help “some”.  Increasing saliva is the most important thing that the gum can do.  Xylitol gum is also beneficial.

4.  VODKA:  I saved my favorite one for last.  Take a shot of vodka and swish around before swallowing.  The alcohol can help kill the bacteria in the mouth.


In my opinion, the best plan of action is to just time your ingestion wisely.  I never eat garlic-y foods during the work week.  I feel that is a nice thing I can do for my patients.  I also avoid when I know I will be smooching on my husband.

Hope this helps with your celebration and your “garlic hangover”

About monicaneelydds

Dr. Monica Neely, DDS is a practicing Dentist in Edmond, OK. Dr. Neely graduated from University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry and has been in practice for 24 years. She then completed Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) Residency, a one-year post-graduate training in complex dental cases.

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