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A Cure for Garlic Breath

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Tonight my fiancé and I had a mediocre dinner — one of those frozen chicken parmesan meals. I could have done much better from scratch, but that's the price I pay for speed and simplicity. It's a curse of being a poor graduate student. I did manage to make some "homemade" garlic bread, however. Honey wheat bread + butter (churned by hand) + sea salt + garlic powder = delicious. Unfortunately, as delicious and wonderful as the garlic bread was, it gave me some killer breath.

It wasn't just stinky. It was a full-fledged case of STANK BREATH that, I’m embarrassed to say, my fiancé could smell from several feet away on the couch.

It's a dilemma any garlic-loving person has probably run into at one time or another. You eat something with garlic but your date or significant other didn't join in the garlicky goodness. Or, as in my case tonight, he joined in the garlicky goodness, but not quite as enthusiastically as I did. So what do you do about bad breath? For garlic and onion on your hands, they make those awesome metal "soap bars" that get rid of the scent like magic. But I wasn't inclined to rub one of those on my tongue. GAH.

Here was my crazily overzealous attempt to solve the problem and eliminate further nose crinkling from my fiancé.

First, I brushed my teeth thoroughly with Crest Citrus Splash Whitening Plus Scope. I brushed my teeth, gums, tongue, under my tongue, and even the roof of my mouth. Then I used ACT Restoring Mouthwash. The electric blue foam it makes when you swish it around always seems a little strange, but the stuff works well. Then, just in case I didn’t get all the garlic off my lips, I used Bath and Body Works Mentha Lip Balm Stick. It’s one of my favorites for everyday lip moisture because it isn’t glossy at all (safe for dude use!). And then to top it all off, I drank a shot of Hiram Walker 90 proof Peppermint Schnapps*. Prost! Bottoms up, down the hatch.

It’s important to understand that I didn’t really expect any of this to work. Usually I brush my teeth and the garlic stank breath returns almost immediately. I mainly intended my overzealous garlic solution to entertain my fiancé. But surprisingly, it completely eliminated any trace of stank breath. We did a sniff test several times and even a kiss test. In the following six hours, the garlic didn’t come back.

I don’t suggest you start chugging mint schnapps next time you eat something with garlic, but if you forget about your hot date until after you’ve snarfed a pita filled with shish taouk and toum (marinated grilled chicken skewers with garlic paste) and you need a quick fix, you might try the toothpaste-mouthwash-lip balm-schnapps* combo.

*If you’re twenty-one. Don’t drink and drive. That’s way worse than stank breath.

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About Jessica Lada

  • Jobeth

    This is a bit simpler. I drank lemon juice and ate a couple of basil leaves. I dont smell garlic on my breath yet. The sulfuric compounds have to be neutralized, and I read that basil (really parsley, but basil was apparently close enough) and lemons do indeed neutralize said sulfuric compounds. I hear green tea also will work.

  • aj

    Schnapps up the bunghole works too

  • Well, that’s a combination I’ve never tried. There’s only one other step that I have found to work.

    Immediately after the hard liquor, set your mouth on fire with one of those long lighters (just to be safe….you certainly don’t want to burn your thumb).

    This “mouth-fire” will often remove the garlic oil residue that remains after a satisfying meal