One weekend you get together with friends for dinner at a delectable restaurant that serves cheese fondue, and you have a martini to cap it off. You want to make sure you have fresh breath, so after dinner, you pop in an Altoids or other similar breath mint. Although you may now have a cinnamon-like taste in your mouth, what you’ve really done is made your bad breath problem much worse. Let me explain…
All the “breath mint candies” that you’re used to seeing in the stores (Altoids, Tic-Tacs, Certs, Ice Breakers, etc…) all commit some kind of fatal mistake in the documented science of creating fresh breath. You see, by now the academic halitosis community knows the causes of bad breath…and we also know the exact conditions that create an oral environment in your mouth that is more likely to produce bad breath.
A LITTLE BIT ABOUT SITUATIONAL BAD BREATH AND WHAT TRIGGERS IT
A common type of bad breath that occurs in 99.9% of the world population, at one time or another, is situational bad breath. It happens when someone activates what is called a “trigger” which causes the oral environment in their mouth to become more likely for the anaerobic bacteria to begin creating the volatile sulfur compounds (VSC’s) that cause bad breath.
In scientific terms, when your mouth encounters one of these triggers, it creates an oral environment that encourages the anaerobic bacteria to begin extracting sulfur compounds from specific amino acids. One amino acid called Cysteine turns into Hydrogen Sulfide, which has a rotten-egg smell. Another amino acid, Methionine, becomes Methyl Mercaptan which smells sort of like dirty socks. What are the common bad breath triggers? They include foods that are high in protein, alcohol, medication with dry mouth side effects, smoking, garlic, onions, coffee, citrus juice, and sugar.
WHY DID THE ‘BREATH MINT CANDY’ AFTER DINNER NOT WORK AT REFRESHING YOUR BREATH?
During dinner, you introduced two “triggers” to your mouth (protein and alcohol) that weren’t previously there. These triggers make your oral environment very eager to begin creating foul-smelling VSC’s (volatile sulfur compounds). Thus, the process of producing bad breath began.
Wouldn’t you think that a breath mint would contain ingredients that make this oral environment less likely to happen? At the very least, there shouldn’t be anything in a breath mint that would make that oral environment worse right?
SO, WHAT MAKES A BREATH MINT ACTUALLY NEUTRALIZE BAD BREATH PRODUCTION?
First, you need a breath mint that does not contain sugar – your breath mint should NEVER have sugar as an ingredient. Rather, the ingredient xylitol should be used. Xylitol is a NATURAL sweetener and has also been proven to have tremendous anti-decay properties.
Next, your breath mint should also contain zinc gluconate. This ingredient literally puts a “straight-jacket” around those bad breath-producing anaerobic bacteria. Specifically, it blocks the receptors on the anaerobic bacteria so that they don’t bind with the amino acids thus preventing the production of VSC’s (volatile sulfur compounds), which causes bad breath!
Remember, your breath mint should be free of aspartame, saccharin, and artificial colors or flavors. Do you see where I’m getting at? The top breath mint fresheners on the market ALL contain either sugar or an artificial flavor that is designed to cover up rather than prevent bad breath and taste.
WHAT’S THE BOTTOM LINE? WHAT BREATH MINTS DO I RECOMMEND?
One such breath mint that contains none of these ineffective ingredients but does contain all of the good ones, are ZOX breath lozenges. With their patented combination of Zinc, Oxygen, and Xylitol they are literally the most effective breath mint available.