By: Jean Johnson for Dental1
|Tips on Keeping Your Breath Sweet and Fresh:|
Brush after meals and snacks
Floss daily to remove invisible plaque to which odor-producing bacteria adheres
Eat the freshest foods available
Eat whole grains instead of refined products
Drink enough water
“Consumers often turn to flavored chewing gum and mints to battle bad breath,” states a report on the findings from the ACS. “However, those products only temporarily mask the odor of bad breath, which is caused by bacteria.” Sweet magnolia bark extract, on the other hand, kills most of these bacteria and as such “could be a boon for oral health when added to chewing gum and mints.”
Indeed, data compiled by Illinois researchers Minmin Tian, PhD, and Michael Greenberg, PhD, showed that sweet magnolia bark extract killed 61 percent of the germs that cause bad breath within 30 minutes. Some of these bacteria, Tian and Greenberg noted, are the same as those which cause cavities as well. Thus, sweet magnolia bark could have the added benefit of protecting against decay even as it leaves the mouth pleasantly clean.
Tim Hawkins of Atlanta, Georgia, likes the news. “As a southern boy and a reader of southern literature that sings the praises magnolia trees, I’m delighted to hear about the findings. Also, I’m getting older now, and don’t want to turn into some character with breath that makes folks turn their heads. I remember my father asking me how his breath was after he got frail. It was sweet as peaches, but he worried. I think it was because he ate right and took care of his teeth. My mother was a great scratch cook from way back, so we never got into the habit of junk food,” Hawkins said. “But it’s brushing too. And actually it’s funny that you should ask about this now because the other night I was so tired I went to bed without cleaning my teeth, and you know what happened? First thing in the morning when I woke, I had bad breath. I’m glad my wife was out of town, and I’m glad I don’t pull that but maybe once a year.”
Hawkin’s points is well taken. Dentists across the board say that since mouth rinses currently on the market are not that effective in killing bacteria related to bad breath, the key to sweet breath is good hygiene and sound eating habits. Then again, sometimes there’s that garlicky meal that even when you brush afterward leaves you wondering. For those times, we can most likely look forward to mints with sweet magnolia bark. And with our oh-so-lovely breath, we can perhaps consider a trip to the South where the magnolia trees hang heavy with blossoms and the air fills with their very fragrant hospitality.