9 Secret Bad Breath Fighters and Homemade Toothpaste Recipe

Well, the simple answer to that is ‘Reduced Saliva Function’, which is a fancy term I’ve decided to coin that basically means when we sleep, our mouth produces a lot less saliva than when we’re awake.

Saliva is responsible for getting rid of the bacteria we naturally produce in our mouth, so when it’s in short supply, that bacteria builds up and causes the bad breath we wake up to each day.

Perhaps you’re not that bothered about the secrets to fresh morning breath but for the sake of everyone you have to speak to after having just woken up, read on anyway.

1. Don’t Eat Garlic or Onions

Yes, it’s annoying if you enjoy eating any kind of food because garlic and/or onions can be found in the vast majority of savoury dishes.

But if you value fresh breath, you should at least try to avoid them, because the potent sulphur compounds in both foods are absorbed into the bloodstream and released when you exhale.

Because of this, no amount of brushing or chewing gum can rid you of the odour, just mask it to an extent.

2. Don’t Skip a Brushing Session Before Bed

Your dentist told you to brush twice daily, right? We know the morning brush is to lather our mouths with minty freshness for the day ahead. But the evening brush is also for more than just your teeth.

Without getting rid of the excess food in your mouth before you sleep, the bacteria that causes bad breath during the night has a major head start. And will turn your breath into a noxious gas come sunrise.

3. Don’t Drink Coffee or Alcohol

I know, having good breath is really starting to drag down all that’s fun in life, isn’t it?

Both coffee and alcohol create a drying effect in the mouth. Reducing saliva production and creating the perfect setting for fragrant bacteria to linger and multiply.

A Friday night alcohol binge has the ability to repel anyone and everyone with its resultant morning breath.

So maybe it is better to leave that one-night-stand at 4 am before you wake up next to them in the early afternoon.

4. Don’t Use Mouthwash After Every Brush

Mouthwash is a double-edged sword in the arsenal of oral hygiene.

Sure, it makes your breath smell like mint, but it also dries out your mouth (especially the ones that contain alcohol) and as we already know.

That’s no good for keeping bad-smelling bacteria at bay.

Using it in the morning is fine as our saliva can omit that dryness relatively quickly.

But using it at night will keep your breath fresh for an hour and then serve to increase the rate at which the bacteria multiplies.

5. Try Oil Pulling

Now, I say ‘try’ oil pulling because it might not be the best option for the impatient ones among-st you.

This fresh breath method originated in India around 3,000 years ago but the art is simple enough. Take a teaspoon of oil (coconut is recommended but sesame and sunflower work as well) and swish it around your mouth for 20 minutes – yes, that’s 20 minutes.

Studies have shown that when the microorganisms in your mouth come into contact with oil, they adhere to it, and so get disposed of when you eventually spit the oil out.

6. Brush Your Tongue

Yup, turns out this little idea wasn’t just created for toothbrush manufacturers to flog us brand new gimmicks.

Just like your teeth (and in fact your whole mouth) the tongue is a breeding ground of bacteria that causes bad breath, so if you don’t brush it, they will multiply throughout the day and night.

The good news is that a regular old toothbrush is more than capable of getting the job done although brushing too vigorously could damage your taste buds, so be careful!

7. Smell Your Floss

Ok, I know – gross, right? But smelling your floss (after you’ve used it obviously) is a wonderful solution to that age old problem of telling whether you yourself have bad breath.

This technique, brought to you by dentist John Woodall, DDS, dictates that if your floss smells bad or there is blood on it, there are foul odours in your mouth. If that is the case, then go through this list until that floss is smelling as fresh as a person with beautifully minty breath.

8. Drink Lots of Water

Water is the perfect on-the-go cleaning agent for your mouth. Either drinking it straight down or swirling it around in your mouth and spitting it out (not recommended in most public and social situations) flushes away the bacteria we’ve learned to hate so mercilessly on this list.

Drinking water also encourages the production of saliva.

Which of course we all know is your most powerful natural cleaning agent that dissolves the bad smelling substances in food and drink.

9. Chew Sugarless Gum

Gum is good for the mouth in two ways: it helps loosen excess food and dead cells from the teeth, gums and tongue, and most of the time it’s laced with some sort of delightful flavour that makes your breath smell terrific (mint being the most effective).

Sugarless gum eradicates the downside of having sugar erode your teeth and chewing it even after it’s lost its flavour promotes your mouth’s manufacture of saliva.

What’s wrong with conventional toothpaste?

One of the quickest ways to absorb something into your body is through the mouth.

That’s why we need to be extra vigilant in making sure our toothpaste does not contain toxins which can then enter our bodies.

In addition to fluoride, which has not been shown to actually reduce tooth decay, conventional toothpastes contain quite a few other ingredients that I now know should be avoided:

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

A foaming agent that can be found in everything from toothpaste to dish soap to shampoo. SLS has been linked to skin irritation, organ toxicity, and neurotoxicity.  

Also known as sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) or ammonium lauryl sulfate (ALS). 


This is added to toothpaste (even the “natural” kinds) to give it that “pasty” consistency.

But there’s speculation that glycerin tends to coat the teeth and prevent remineralization.

The evidence behind this theory is not very clear, but I tend to err on the side of caution. 


An anti-microbial and anti-fungal agent added to soaps and detergents, and one brand of toothpaste (which also happens to be the brand I used before making the switch).

It’s effectiveness remains controversial, and it’s been linked to everything from cancers to endocrine disruption to neurological damage in fetuses.

Other ingredients – Artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners like aspartame and saccharin.

Homemade Toothpaste

Recipe #1 (my original recipe until I decided I didn’t want to use baking soda everyday)

  • 2 tbs. Coconut oil softened
  • 2 tbs. Baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp. Stevia 
  • 10 drops peppermint essential oil 


Mix together and store in a container. Dip your toothbrush into the toothpaste or scoop out with a spoon/popsicle stick/what-have-you.

Recipe #2 (my recipe that I originally used just for my kids but now use myself)

  • 2 TBS. Coconut oil softened
  • 1 TBS. Xylitol (I’ve found that it’s best if you grind the xylitol into a powder in the blender/food processor first. Xylitol is a pretty coarse sweetener)
  • 10 drops of peppermint essential oil 


Mix together and store in a container. Dip your toothbrush into the toothpaste or scoop out with a spoon/popsicle stick/what-have-you.

If you want to make the toothpaste a bit more pliable (because coconut oil gets pretty hard in cold temperatures) then you can add a bit of your favorite liquid oil to the mixture.

Just in case you are curious as to why we would use those ingredients, I decided to give a little information on each one.

Ingredient Information

Coconut Oil – It’s anti-fungal and antibacterial. It also is said to stop tooth decay.

Baking Soda – It’s abrasive quality helps whiten teeth by removing stains. However, as I said since it is abrasive it can remove enamel. Which is why most dentists do not recommend using it on a daily basis; especially if you are using baking soda by itself.

Stevia – Not really beneficial to teeth at all but it does help sweeten you toothpaste and it doesn’t cause problems for teeth like other sweeteners.

Peppermint Oil – Antiseptic and antibacterial. Plus it gives you that minty taste you’ve grown to love.

Xylitol – Like stevia, it is a sweetener. However, it prevents plaque from attaching to teeth and even enhances the re-mineralization of teeth!

If you are looking for a really crunchy toothpaste, give one of these recipes a try. They both work great and they are much cheaper to make than it is to buy a crunchy toothpaste