If you wonder why people keep a safe distance during these festive occasions, it might be because of your bad breath.
Some of the traditional dishes and beverages America enjoys at family gatherings and office parties are the main culprits.
Dr. Harold Katz, known as “America’s Bad Breath Doctor,” says there are certain holiday foods to avoid if you don’t want to be avoided.
“Some of the most popular holiday foods can really stink up your mouth, which is especially lethal at a loud gathering when you have to lean in close to have conversations,” says Katz, who is a dentist and bacteriologist and a developer of a line of oral products. Bad breath bacteria react immediately to changes in the oral environment and unfortunately many holiday foods provide the fuel which they convert into volatile sulfur compounds, including hydrogen sulfide (the rotten egg smell).
Katz says since holidays are a time of close personal contact with large groups of people, it would be prudent for people to at least know which foods cause the worst bad breath.
Katz says these are some of the worst holiday foods in terms of causing bad breath:
Alcohol: Chemically, it’s a dehydrating agent – and dry mouth is one of the leading causes of bad breath. Furthermore, many old-fashioned mouthwash formulas contain high concentrations of alcohol which may exacerbate your dry mouth. Look for alcohol-free oxygenating oral products instead.
Ham: It is not only high in protein, but the way it’s prepared (salted, cured, smoked) also leads to dry mouth.
Garlic and onions: Already loaded with smelly sulfur compounds.
Wine and cheese: This classic party snack packs a double bad-breath wallop: the wine is dehydrating, and the cheese is rich in proteins, easily converted into sour milk odors.
Cranberry sauce: If it’s loaded with sugar, as most canned cranberry sauces are, it’s going to be no better for your teeth (and your breath) than a slice of cake.