Bad breath can ruin a party so this holiday season, don't let that weird uncle be you! There are certain holiday foods that, although delicious, are detrimental to your breath.
Dr. Harold Katz, developer of the TheraBreath line of oral products and known as “America’s Bad Breath Doctor” says there are certain holiday foods to avoid – if you don’t want to be avoided.
“Some of the most popular holiday foods can really stink up your mouth, which is especially lethal at a loud gathering when you have to lean in close to have conversations,” says Dr. Katz, who is also a dentist and bacteriologist. Bad breath bacteria react immediately to changes in the oral environment and unfortunately many Holiday foods provide the fuel which they convert into volatile Sulfur compounds, including Hydrogen Sulfide (the rotten egg smell).
Some festive foods to avoid (or at least eat/drink in moderation):
Alcohol: Chemically, it’s a dehydrating agent – and dry mouth is one of the leading causes of bad breath. Furthermore, many old-fashioned mouthwash formulas contain high concentrations of alcohol which may exacerbate your dry mouth. Look for alcohol-free oxygenating oral products instead.
Ham: Ham is not only high in protein, but the way it’s prepared (salted, cured, smoked) also leads to dry mouth.
Garlic and onions: Already loaded with smelly sulfur compounds. Duh!
Wine and cheese: This classic party snack packs a double bad-breath wallop: the wine is dehydrating, and the cheese is rich in proteins, easily converted into sour milk odors.
Cranberry sauce: If it’s loaded with sugar, as most canned cranberry sauces are, it’s going to be no better for your teeth (and your breath) than a slice of cake.
Dr. Katz says since holidays are a time of close personal contact with large groups of people, it would be prudent for people to at least know which foods cause the worst bad breath. So don't be that person, stick to the peppermint desserts and carry some gum!