Jaime Schmidt, our boss and founder of Schmidt’s Naturals, is not-so-secretly a health guru. Whenever we ask questions—from what does ashwagandha even taste like?, to what’s the best seat to pick on a long flight?—group consensus is always to “just ask Jaime.” And answers she has. We thought, if Jaime has the solutions to our questions, maybe she could answer yours, too. Submit your questions for Jaime in the comments, or tweet @TheNaturalMag with #JustAskJaime.
January 30, 2018
Just Ask Jaime: How Can I Tackle Bad Breath?
Schmidt’s Naturals Founder, Jaime Schmidt, answers your questions about a natural lifestyle
“Sometimes we experience bad breath after eating, when we're stressed, and sometimes when we're sick (post nasal drip, yuck). But we don't always have the opportunity to brush our teeth to keep our mouths fresh. Do you have any tips for fighting bad breath on a regular basis?”
This isn’t something we think about all the time, but when it creeps up, it can be embarrassing. I get it. Bad breath is a real bummer, but here are a few of my simple fixes.
For starters, I chew gum…a lot. Sometimes I find I’m still chewing one piece even hours after the flavor is gone. My grandma would always buy me a Costco-sized pack for Christmas each year. But before you solve all your breath problems in one fell swoop, beware that gum can be a sneaky source of sugar. Try and opt for a gum without added, artificial sweeteners. That way, your breath and teeth will thank you.
Drink lots of water! Getting enough H2O throughout the day can help keep your mouth’s odor at bay from bad breath-causing food particles and bacteria. I’ve found that with a straw, my water consumption goes up significantly. It’s just easier to drink. I recently bought these glass straws. They’re really wide, which I love. And environmentally friendly, as they're reusable. If I’m on the go and not using my glass straws, I rely on my glass water bottle (I’m in love with my bkr!) to keep my mouth fresh and feeling hydrated.
I have to admit, I’ll never deny myself good food to spare my breath. In fact, recently I asked a restaurant waiter his recommendation between two dishes and he warned me of one dish that would make me wary of my breath all night. Well, I chose it anyways because that meant it was probably loaded with garlic and tasted delicious! That’s when gum usually comes in handy, but you can also keep a little travel-sized toothbrush in your bag. Not to mention, Schmidt’s has the cutest travel-size toothpastes (humble brag).
This can sound kind of gross, but I find that it really does help with bad breath! All you need is the tool—it’s a metal or plastic device in the shape of a long U—and your tongue. To clean, stick out your tongue and gently press the scraper against the back of your tongue. Glide it forward and in no time you’ll see all the gunk it draws off your tongue. Repeat this a few times until you feel clean and then before you know it, surface-level odor-causing bacteria is gone. I have to remember to wash my tongue scraper regularly (dishwasher works great for this), to be sure I’m keeping it free of bacteria buildup.
I never skip flossing. It’s so effective at removing lodged food that can ultimately lead to bad breath if stuck there. Ok, so once in a blue moon when I’m super lazy at night I might skip it. But when that happens, I tend to wake up in the middle of the night worried about my mouth and end up going to town with excessive flossing the next morning (true story). I do own a water pick flosser, which some people prefer over the thread, but I typically opt for my old school floss. My dentist tells me it can be good to use both as they target teeth a little differently.
And if you’re really worried...
Keep yourself in check with the "back of the hand” test—I remember someone teaching me this ages ago. This is the trick to try since you can't always smell your own breath. If you want to know if your breath is actually unpleasant, lick the back of your hand, wait for it to dry, then give it a whiff. If it smells bad, your breath could use some help. (How many of you just tried that?)
While we appreciate Jaime’s perspective on our lives and underarms, Jaime is not a doctor. For questions about your health, please seek advice from a medical professional. For more from Jaime, follow her on Instagram.