Garlic is delicious and makes everything better, from Italian pasta to Asian stir-fries. Still, nothing is perfect, and garlic’s weak point is the garlic breath you end up with after a satisfying garlicky meal.
Garlic is incredibly pungent, which makes it tasty, but you might want to do something about that breath, especially during the holidays. You don’t want to step under the mistletoe with garlic breath, that’s for sure. Here are a few proven ways to get rid of garlic breath.
Good old brushing your teeth
This one might seem obvious, but the easiest way and the most efficient one to get rid of garlic breath is washing your teeth, flossing and gargling on your favorite oral antiseptic.
Ensure you brush below the gum line, where the plaque accumulates, to ensure a long-term fresh breath. Remember, the tongue is when most bacteria live, so brush it out thoroughly.
Don’t forget to carry your toothbrush for your upcoming holiday dinner parties; no one’s going to judge you for wanting a fresh breath.
Eat your greens
If you can’t brush your teeth after dinner, then try to have some salad. Fresh food, especially herbs, leafy greens and mint, can deodorize your garlic breath. This is especially effective with green veggies.
Apples, which are widely available in Christmas salads, are effective against garlic breath as well; there’s something in apples’ composition that captures those foul aromas and makes them disappear.
Now, if you want to take it to another level, tea, which is essentially a plant infusion, will work equally well, or perhaps better than just chewing on some leaves. Have a cup of green tea after dinner and forget about garlic breath.
Drink a bit of vinegar
One of apple cider vinegar’s ingredients is pectin which can reduce garlic’s aroma. Vinegar’s acidity might also break down garlic’s aromatic compounds in your mouth.
Just a teaspoon of vinegar could be all you need to get rid of your garlic breath. If vinegar is too strong for you, dilute it in a glass of water. There’s a big plus, too, vinegar is great for digestion, so you can process that holiday feast without unbuttoning your pants.
There’s always vinegar around during the holidays, so this might be a convenient hack. Just don’t over-drink vinegar; it might be too strong for your stomach.
Tangy lemon juice
The citric acid in lemons, limes and other citrus fruits effectively neutralizes the alliinase enzymes that cause the bulb’s aroma.
Sucking on a lemon wedge might make all your mouth odor problems disappear at once, but sipping a refreshing glass of lemonade might do the trick too. The more acidic, the better, so if you don’t mind a little lip-puckering acidity, then this is the solution for you.
Make sure you don’t get any lemon juice on your skin to avoid irritation and awkward skin pigmentation, especially around the face. Otherwise, you’ll have more significant problems than bad breath.
A glass of full-fat milk might reduce garlic’s sulfury aromas thanks to fat’s binding properties. Milk’s fat will literally lock into garlic’s aromatic molecules and wash them down, reducing and even wholly eliminating garlic breath.
Other fatty dairy like cheese can have a similar effect. As long as it’s greasy and not skimmed, all dairy products can help. It comes without saying that milk breath is not much better than garlic breath, so consider this your last option.
A stick of gum is all you need
Now, for a classic remedy against garlic breath, a stick of gum will not eliminate the foul aromas, but it will mask them. If you have a spearmint gum, the results will be even better.
Chewing gum at a holiday dinner party might not be the most appropriate thing, but you can surely try this after the party.
Try to find sugar free gum as well, as sugar will excite the bacteria in your mouth and will cause a whole other set of problems.
Garlic breath, it’s not that bad, is it?
The good news is that if you’re having dinner with friends and eat garlic, chances are you won’t be the only one with garlic breath.
As long as everyone takes part in that garlic bread basket, you have nothing to worry about. Then again, you don’t want to be the only one eating the garlic butter.
If all else fails, drink lots of water, nothing lasts forever, not even garlic breath. Just keep on sipping plain water, and hopefully, your breath will improve in a few minutes.