If you like bold or full flavored foods like Asian, Mexican, or Italian then there is a very good chance that you also like garlic. It is a food flavoring that has no equal. Just because you enjoy its pungent flavor it does not mean you want the smell on your breath for days. Even if you did there are people around you that probable wish you didn’t. Because of that it is a good idea to know to help control it some.
What is it that makes garlic such a pungent adversary? It is the same thing that gives garlic its flavor, Allyl Mythel Sulfide, known as AMS. In that compound it is the sulfide part that is the main villain. It is also what gives rotten eggs their charming smell. The body cannot metabolize this compound so it has to find another way to get rid of it. It gets absorbed by the blood and left in the lungs were it can be expelled through breathing. This means that you will have at least a little garlic breath for several days.
While garlic breath will not totally disappear for a few days a lot of the initial smell is from the garlic left in the mouth and there are several ways to do that.
- Herbs. If you are in a restaurant there is often parsley on the plate as a garnish. Chewing it toughly can help neutralize the odor in the mouth due to its high chlorophyll. There are other herbs that work well also includes mint, fennel, cardamom, and cloves.
- Lemons. Lemons work well on garlic odors. Lemonade will work but it needs to be made with real lemon juice and also not sweetened. If lemonade is not an option then you can even use a slice of fresh lemon. It is not the first choice of most people but it does work.
- Hot Tea. These seem to work because there are very effective at rinsing out your mouth, though not all hot teas are equal. Any tea will work but green tea works the best. This is good because Asian cooking is known for both using garlic and serving green tea. Next is line is mint tea then the other teas follow.
- Gum and mints. Gums work to help rid you of garlic breath in two ways. First, most have a sent to help cover the smell. Second, the chewing helps dislodge garlic-smelling food trapped in your mouth. Mints also work to a less degree because they have strong flavors to help mask the smell of your dinner.
- Brush and Rinse. It might seem awkward to brush your teeth in a restaurant restroom but it is a very good way to get rid of and cover the smell. The brushing gets rid of food particles better than gum and mouth wash will cover the rest of the odor better than mints.
With a little planning you can find and take a good commercial product with you that is known for handling garlic odor. There are hundreds of products out there but some work better than others. Using one of them might make it a lot easier to talk with someone without making them feel like they had the same thing for dinner that you did.
- Eat whatever. This is one of the more popular products for garlic and other food odors. You can chose between the quicker acting mints or the very effective gel caps. The gel caps are filled the three common oils used for garlic breath, sunflower, peppermint, and parsley seed.
Breath Away. This is another product that uses both sunflower oil and parsley seed oil.
- TheraBreath Oral Rinse. Like the name implies this product is a mouth wash. It has several ingredients to combat garlic breath including oils that include castor and peppermint to help mask the odor.
- Retardex. This product comes in several forms. It comes as a rinse, as a spray, and even as toothpaste. These products work differently than the others. Its secret is that it starts to break down the AMS compounds that are causing the odor.
St Claire’s Premium organic mints. This product uses a flavorful blend of the organic oils that are known to fight garlic breath. These include spearmint, peppermint, and wintergreen.
VerMints. This organic product uses many of the same oils as above but adds ginger oil, another powerful ally against garlic breath.
Kiss My Face Aloe Vera Mouth Wash. This is a rinse using, again, peppermint oil plus tea tree oil and grapefruit seed extract (oil).
For Your Hands
- Lemon Juice. It should be no surprise to see this here. Not only do lemons work on your breath but work even better on your hands.
- Stainless Steel. This is one of those things that seems like it could never work but does. It seems that the oxidation of the chromium seem to neutralize the odor. Use the sink, utensils or anything made of stainless steel.
- Baking soda or salt. You just need to make a little paste of one of these common items then rub thoroughly for a couple of minute and rinse and the odor should be gone.