Each of us has cupped our hands over our mouths and breathed out to try to determine if we had bad breath. And then, who among us hasn’t reached into a pocket to grab a breath mint, especially before a date or meeting. But did you know that some breath mints, while offering temporary freshness, are actually harmful to your mouth and can even promote worse breath in the long run?

#1 First and foremost – make sure your breath mint contains NO SUGAR!

Sugar feeds bacteria! And by now, we all know that oral bacteria can be responsible for bad breath and oral decay. So even if that lozenge makes your breath smell sweet, it is really contributing to more problems down the road.

#2 That being said, avoid certain artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and saccharin. While these might not have a deleterious effect on your breath later on, they have been linked to other very significant health issues for long-term users.

#3 Avoid artificial colors and flavors!  Natural antimicrobials such as licorice root and clove can deliver some of the flavors you seek without the chemicals.

Now that we have focused on the “don’ts”, here are two “dos” to consider!

First, use hard lozenges rather than soft mints. Hard lozenges take longer to dissolve, do not get stuck in the teeth and, above all, stimulate the production of saliva which helps fight germs while freshening your breath.

Then, look for Xylitol as the sweetener of choice. Xylitol has been shown to have anti-cavity properties and does not contain any sucrose. But a precautionary word to the wise – while Xylitol is completely safe for human consumption, it is toxic to dogs, so please be careful your playful pup doesn’t steal any of your sweet mints!

And of course, incorporating cleaning your tongue into your oral hygiene routine with the TUNG Brush and Gel, designed to make your tongue healthier for longer lasting sweet breath.