When you’re on-the-go and away from the house, it’s always a good idea to carry a portable, pocket-friendly product that can get your breath smelling fresh in an instant.
Breath fresheners come in all shapes, sizes, and flavors:
• Some are designed purely to mask bad breath, covering offensive odors with a variety of fruity, herbal, or candy inspired smells.
• Other products work to increase saliva production, fight cavities and provide long term relief from halitosis, or “dragon breath” as it’s often not-so-lovingly referred to.
• Lastly, you can find products that come in the form of capsules, which fight bad breath from the stomach up.
Let’s learn more about how these products can help you, what to look for in a good breath freshener, and just what products out there are actually effective.
Benefits of Breath Fresheners
There are a few key benefits that come with having an on-demand breath freshener handy in your pocket, purse, or briefcase:
We don’t always have time to make a trip to the bathroom and brush our teeth, or to have a quick gargle with some mouthwash. You can pop a breath-freshening product in your mouth quickly, without the need to stop what you’re doing.
2. Cavity Protection
Breath fresheners stimulate saliva production using either Xylitol or Sorbitol (alcohol esters), which prevents plaque from forming on your teeth in between meals.
3. Social Confidence
If you’ve ever had bad breath, or are prone to chronic bad breath symptoms, you know how embarrassing it can be to enter social situations unsure of the impression you’re going to make on people. A good breath freshener will start working within 30 seconds, allowing you to approach and communicate with confidence.
What to Look for in a Good Breath Freshener
Human beings have been learning how to mask the symptoms of bad breath for centuries now, Therefore, if a label says that a product “freshens your breath,” chances are good that it will indeed do what the package says it will.
There are a couple of main issues that you need to be wary of however: sugar content and artificial sweeteners that are used.
In small doses, a little sugar isn’t such a bad thing. However, most breath freshening mints and candies that you can buy at your local bulk food store for cheap contain so much sugar that they’re not only bad for your overall health, they’ll actually make your bad breath worse once the freshening effect wears off. Sugar leads to bacterial growth, which obviously won’t help curb bad breath for very long, but also isn’t good for your dental health either.
Sugar content will also always equal empty calories that most of use just don’t need. Always read labels and avoid products containing more than 2g of sugar per dose. Avoid sugar altogether if you can tolerate (or enjoy) the taste of “safe” sweeteners.
II. Artificial Sweeteners
Aspartame breaks down into formaldehyde – i.e., the chemical morticians preserve dead bodies with! While aspartame is still widely used and considered safe, it’s very toxic and proven to cause cancers of all kinds.
Saccharine has had a sketchy history. It was the first sugar-free sweetener to ever hit the mass-market. First it was considered good for us, then it was found to cause cancer in rats. Today, the FDA and other global-health organizations have labelled it as safe again. While there’s a good chance it’s okay to consume it; saccharine has a bitter, almost metallic taste that most people find unpleasant. Proceed with caution if you decide to consume this sweetener on a regular basis.
Sucrose, a sweetener extracted from the sugar “sucrose” has been found safe in humans, with no proven side effects. This sweetener is excreted unchanged from our bodies. Despite it’s safe nature, it will ferment in your mouth, causing bacteria and plaque.
4.Stevia, Truvia and PurVia
Sweeteners ending in “via” such as Stevia, Truvia, and PurVia are also considered safe. These plant-based sweeteners do have a slight chemical taste that some may find unpleasant. Similar to sucrose, they can ferment inside the mouth in larger doses to cause plaque to form.
5.Xylitol and Sorbitol
Alcohol-based sweeteners, such as Xylitol and Sorbitol have proven health benefits beyond making your breath smell good. They do not ferment causing plaque, and have shown to increase saliva production for a long time after their use, making them great for preventing the bacteria that causes bad breath in the first place. These alcohol-esters may also help to remineralize your teeth (source).
Note About the Actual Freshening Ingredients Used
There’s a near limitless list of freshening ingredients found in commercially-available breath fresheners: mint, cinnamon, peppermint, wintergreen, ginger, tangerine, apple, strawberry, chocolate, etc. The list goes on and on.
Unless you’re buying an organic product, most of these ingredients are manufactured in a laboratory setting and will contain almost zero natural flavors. Manufacturers get by this by labelling their products as “made with natural ingredients” or something similar.
If you’re wary of consuming unnatural products, choose breath fresheners labeled as 90-100% “organic”.
Review of the Best Breath Fresheners Currently on the Market
#1.TheraBreath Dentist Formulated Dry Mouth Lozenges
TheraBreath makes some of the best breath fresheners available. This mandarin mint variety comes in either a 24 or 100-pack, using sorbitol as the sweetening agent. These lozenges have a proprietary salivary agent that works in combination with the sorbitol to increase saliva production, to protect against bacteria formation and prevent dry mouth symptoms.
#2.Listerine Pocketpaks Cool Mints
Listerine has been around for over 100 years. Their breath strips are a handy way to get a “similar” experience to that which you’d get using their popular mouthwash. Each small “pocketpack” container has 24 breath strips inside. You put a strip or two on your tongue, let it dissolve and you’re done. These are great for people who don’t like chewing gum or sucking on mints.
#3.Xlear Spry Power Peppermint Mints
Xlear Spry Power Mints are some of the most affordable and effective breath fresheners you’ll find. At ust $5 after tax for 240 mints, made from 100% Xylitol, you’ll be fighting bad breath bacteria and cavities in their tracks with Xlear Spry’s.
#4.Orahealth Xylimelts Mints
Xylimelts contain a special time-released Xylitol. Obviously with over 500mg of Xylitol in each melt, you know they’ll keep your breath smelling and feeling fresh all day long. The time-release action is very popular with people who suffer from dry mouth/throat problems; particularly people suffering with, or recovering from oral and throat cancer. Expect to pay a few bucks more. This product is recommended by dentists and oral-care professionals all over the world.
#5.Mint Asure Fresh Breath Capsules
MintAssure uses Parsley Oil as their main freshening ingredient. This isn’t a mint or strip, but rather a capsule that you swallow to cure bad breath from the inside. While bacteria that forms in the mouth causes germs to form and bad breath to flourish, the foods we eat such as garlic, onions, and other offensive odor-causing foods causes “stomach breath” and “lung breath.” Mints, lozenges, strips, and gum do not address this problem. MintAssure Capsules freshen from the inside out!
#6.Newman’s Own Organic Mints
Newman’s Own Organic Mints claim to be 95% organic. This breath freshening product uses ginger as the breath-busting ingredient. But this product isn’t for the calorie-conscious. Since Newman’s Own uses organic sugar and corn syrup, you don’t want to take them hours before you brush your teeth. Use these if you’re a naturalist and don’t like consuming artificial ingredients.
#7.Ice Breaker Duo Fruit + Cool Mints
First and foremost, Ice Breakers contain Aspartame, and is pretty heavy with other preservatives like maltodextrin, cornstarch, and artificial flavors. If you’re comfortable with these ingredients, you won’t find a less-expensive and great-tasting product to freshen your breath. They’re sugar-free and cost less than $2 per pack when you buy them in bulk on Amazon.
#8.Rainbow Light Mint Asure Capsules
Just like the regular MintAssure capsules listed above, these Rainbow Light Mint capsules use parsley oil. This version also has a mint coating to offer longer-lasting freshness, with the proven dual-purpose of helping to prevent stomach upset!
Any of the products listed above will help curb bad breath symptoms. If you have chronic bad breath, it’s a good idea to combine a capsule solution that you swallow, like MintAssure, with a mint or strip product that you place in your mouth as needed.
If you just have the occasional bought of bad breath, or spend a lot of time talking up close with people, choose a product that meets your ingredient, flavor, and price preferences, then make sure you always carry them with you to avoid embarrassing situations.
Remember, you never get a second chance to make a good first impression!