How Lemons Combat Bad Breath Better Than Other Fruits

Having bad breath, or even the thought of having bad breath, can set any social interaction on edge. Nobody wants to open their mouth and instantly reveal they were nibbling on a particularly stinky cheese at lunch. It's an especially tough break for food lovers, given that some of the tastiest things also tend to bring about halitosis.

Along with the benefits of having a consistent oral hygiene routine, eating certain foods can counter bad breath. According to Colgate, fruit is a proven remedy. Munching on an apple assists with saliva production and scrapes food residue off your teeth. However, citrus fruits like oranges and lemons have the added advantage of a high level of vitamin C, which prevents further growth of bacteria in the mouth (via Gentle Dental of Michigan).

There are two key advantages lemons hold above oranges, one being ease of access. Although it's common to come across a lemon wedge nestled in your drink at a bar or restaurant or on the side of your plate if you've ordered a dish that benefits from a little squeeze of lemon juice, asking for an orange wedge in your water might get you some strange looks. The second advantage is, aptly, smell. The oils in oranges leave behind a strong odor, especially on hands. You may counteract smelly breath, but oranges will bring about a new problem — smelly hands.

Using lemons to freshen up day-to-day

There are several ways to incorporate lemons into your diet to periodically help with your breath, but as with anything tasty, proceed carefully! You may be hoping that ensuring a lemon wedge is present in every drink would be an easy solution. However, research shows that lemon garnishes served in restaurants are hotbeds for potentially illness-causing microbes. Eating lemons on their own isn't the best idea either; The acid in lemons is strong enough that some people use them to clean their sinks, and that same acid can wear away the enamel on your teeth over time (via Periodontal Associates of Memphis).

If you're hanging out at a place that serves homemade lemonade (not the fizzy stuff!), add a glass to your order. Or, if you're not afraid to carry a little bottle of lemon juice around, squeeze some into your glass of water. Looking for a nice after-dinner aperitif? Order a limoncello. If lemony drinks aren't your thing, try cooking with lemons! They are a great addition to many recipes, combining beautifully with fish, chicken, pasta, and salads.

Go ahead, talk to people after dinner. Breathe on them. You're good for it.