Which Breathmints Are the Most Effective?

Many breath mints claim to beat bad breath, but not all actually live up to the hype. In fact, some actually make your breath worse at the most inopportune time. Discover what makes the best breath mints so effective, and start enjoying clean, fresh breath again.


Which Breathmints are the Most Effective?

Image via Flickr by Dorothy Moerlein

Originally used to ease stomach problems, Altoids have been on the market in one form or another since 1780. Years later, Altoids adopted its "Curiously Strong Mints" motto and became popular for the ability to stop bad breath in its tracks. Today, Altoids are a popular choice for combating coffee breath and strong odors from meals, largely due to their powerful mint flavor.

While the original Altoids likely included peppermint oil, the company's contemporary breath fresheners rely primarily on sugar and artificial flavorings. Though Peppermint and Cinnamon Altoids smell remarkably fresh at first, their sugary ingredients probably won't keep your breath tasting fresh for long.

Tic Tacs

Known as the smallest breath mints on the market, Tic Tacs boast that they have under two calories per mint. They're available in many flavors, from classic Freshmints and Wintergreen to fruity Orange and Grape to Tic Tac Mixers that change as you enjoy them.

No matter the flavor, however, Tic Tacs are made to improve your breath. If you're just looking for a quick pop of freshness, Tic Tacs are up for the task. For a solution that falls more on the fresh side of the spectrum and less on the candy side, keep looking.

TheraBreath Lozenges

Consuming sugar, even in the form of a small breath mint, encourages oral bacteria growth and may actually cause bad breath. That's why many people swear by breath mints that are sugar-free or made with sugar substitutes.

TheraBreath Lozenges rely on xylitol, a sugar substitute, for a sweet, minty flavor. They also include natural flavors like citrus and essential oil of mint. These innovative breath fresheners attack oral odors from another direction, too. They include zinc gluconate, which stops oral bacteria from binding with amino acids and producing unpleasant odors.

These breath-freshening lozenges also work hard to keep your mouth from getting too dry. Saliva helps wash bacteria and food away from your teeth, eliminating more potential causes of bad breath.

Peppersmith Mints

Like TheraBreath Lozenges, Peppersmith relies on the sugar substitute xylitol to produce a sweet-tasting breath mint that won't cause more bad breath. Peppersmith Mints also prevent plaque from forming, limit gum damage, and reduce tooth decay. In fact, the xylitol in Peppersmiths reduces oral bacteria by as much as 90 percent.

It's no wonder, then, that Peppersmith products are accredited by the United Kingdom's Oral Health Foundation. Be sure to follow the company's recommendations for enjoying these mints, since you'll want to consume an appropriate amount of xylitol.

Sencha Naturals Mints

When you want a truly natural breath mint option, try Sencha Naturals Mints. These breath fresheners are available in many flavors, ranging from Tropical Mango to Bombay Chai to Moroccan Mint, and all are sugar-free and vegan.

Sencha Naturals Mints also boast matcha, sencha, and other types of green tea as base ingredients. Since green tea helps prevent odor-causing oral bacteria from growing, these are a natural solution for fresh breath. The sorbitol and natural oils and extracts in these mints offer an extra boost of sweetness.

Listerine PocketPaks Breath Strips

In some cases, mints might not help you get the fresh breath you're looking for. Rather than simply covering up bad breath, consider trying breath fresheners that tackle the root of the problem.

Listerine PocketPaks Breath Strips target the bacteria that cause the odor in the first place. In fact, in just 30 seconds, one breath strip kills up to 99 percent of the odor-producing bacteria in your mouth. By doing so, these minty strips help end serious odor problems and persistent issues like garlic breath.

Because Listerine PocketPaks Breath Strips are sugar-free, you can rest assured that flavors like Cool Mint and Fresh Burst won't dissolve into a sticky film that encourages more bacteria growth on your teeth. Their sugar-free status also won't contribute to bad breath once the first minty effect wears off.

Natural Fresheners

Looking for a solution that will have a subtle yet long-lasting effect on your breath? Try some of the most effective natural breath fresheners.


Water might sound like a simple solution, but this pure liquid makes a real impact on your breath. As most dentists will tell you, dry mouths produce the bacteria that cause bad breath. Just by increasing your daily water intake, you can actually better your breath. Keep your mouth moist by drinking at least 8 eight-ounce glasses of water throughout the day. You can even add lemon or lime for a hint of fresh flavor.


Keeping the saliva flowing also helps your mouth stay moist, and lemon excels at stimulating saliva production. After enjoying a garlic infused meal, try sucking on a lemon slice or squeezing one into some water to combat bad breath.

Fresh Herbs

Herbs and spices have long served as natural breath fresheners. Chew on just a couple fresh parsley, cilantro, or mint leaves for breath that smells and tastes fresh without the artificial additives. Some spices, like anise seeds, cardamom pods, and cinnamon sticks, are also known for their freshening qualities, but be sure not to swallow these.

Peppermint Oil

Mouthwash can dry out your mouth, especially if it's made with alcohol, but peppermint oil offers a naturally effective alternative. Try taking a peppermint oil capsule or rinsing with a peppermint essential oil mouthwash to get a natural peppermint freshness.

If you regularly deal with bad breath, a professional cleaning can also freshen your smile. Not sure if that fits into your budget? With Carefree Dental, you can save up to 50 percent on routine exams, regular cleanings, and other procedures every time you visit the dentist.

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