The Best Way To Get Rid Of Coffee Breath

A busy day usually means kicking off the morning with a cup of coffee. Whether it's a homemade cold brew or a perfectly mixed cup of drip, there's options that everyone can enjoy. Unfortunately, these drinks come with a rather undesirable aftereffect: coffee breath. Students and employees everywhere know all too well how hard it is not to react when a teacher or boss comes in with stale coffee on their breath.

It's not that the teacher or boss skipped on their usual dental hygiene, either. Coffee breath has its own unique kind of stink outside of typical bad breath. That signature stink is caused by a two-fold whammy of sulfur-based compounds and tannins, according to Healthline. Coffee beans release sulfurous compounds when they're roasted. These mingle with the natural acids in coffee to create coffee breath. Tannins in the coffee hinder saliva production that would normally wash away odor-causing bacteria, while the caffeine causes mild dehydration, making the impact worse. It's a recipe as terrible as Frappuccinos are delicious.

Luckily, the curse of coffee breath is easy to break. You just need to plan ahead and make sure you have the right tools within reach after your coffee break.

Ways to combat coffee breath

You might think that brushing your teeth after you drink coffee is the best way to cut down on coffee breath. However, you might want to think about switching your routine around, though more for your dental health than for your breath.

A dentist at CommuniCare Health Centers in San Antonio, Dr. Christina Meiners, spoke with HuffPost urging coffee drinkers to brush teeth before drinking their daily cup of coffee. This way, there will be less plaque for the staining agents to adhere to. More importantly, brushing teeth after the fact may actually damage enamel softened by contact with the acid in coffee. While it's not a hard and fast rule that you can't brush after coffee, you'll want to hold off for about half an hour. That's not a lot of time, but it's enough time for your breath to take on an edge.

If you want to nip the problem before it starts, try chewing fresh parsley instead. The chlorophyll combats the sulphur compounds at the root of coffee breath, and the plant won't damage your enamel (via Cosmopolitan). If parsley doesn't sound appealing, experts at Healthline suggest either swishing water around in your mouth, or reaching for a sugar-free mint.

It might take some trial and error to find the best option, but one thing is for certain — parsley, gum, mouthwash, and mints are all preferable to the dreaded tang of coffee breath.