Something about the idea of bad breath can drive even the mintiest man to the nearest restroom to scrub (or even inspect) his teeth. The faux medical condition known to many as “halitosis” strikes fear into the human heart no matter how you identify, a pungent repellent against friends and lovers alike cruelly undetectable to its victim. Keeping the best toothpaste for bad breath on hand offers constant reassurance that you’re protecting your fresh breath throughout the day. After all, you never know when you’ll meet your next lover, hero, or mentor!
Bad breath is caused by bacteria in the mouth all the way down to the gut. It happens in dogs, cats, human beings—essentially all mammals.
Everyone deals with bad breath, so it should never become a source of shame. That being said, we’re here to help with 8 of the best toothpastes for bad breath that’ll offer a bit of super cool insurance while you take on all the day’s little surprises.
Halitosis Isn’t “Real”
Bad breath is caused by bacteria in the mouth all the way down to the gut. It happens in dogs, cats, human beings—essentially all mammals. Search the web for the best toothpaste for bad breath and you’ll find mention after mention of an alleged health condition called “halitosis,” the “scientific” name for bad breath. While we all know that bad breath is most certainly a real condition, it’s more an unfortunate effect of our body’s natural makeup rather than an actual ailment that ought to be given a scary-sounding name.
As Smithsonian Magazine informed audiences in January 2015, “halitosis” is essentially an advertising creation of Listerine’s manufacturer, Inglis-Arkell. The company had been selling Listerine as a catch-all cleaning solution since 1880, but Listerine truly became a household name around 1920 when the company introduced the term “halitosis” into their marketing lexicon. By reframing bad breath as a medical condition, Inglis-Arkell helped Listerine’s sales to skyrocket, forming the basis for a phenomenon known to marketing specialists today as “halitosis appeal,” which is “shorthand for using fear to sell product.”
Keep your breath fresh, but don’t fall prey to the frenzy! A little bit of funky breath is totally natural.
Here’s How to Fight Bad Breath
Now that we’ve established that halitosis is far less scary than Proctor & Gamble might have you believe, let’s move on to some helpful tips for fighting bad breath, from your teeth to far beyond.
Keep Healthy Habits
Lifestyle habits like diet and smoking (yes, even vaping!) affect your breath. Even other ear, nose, and throat conditions like sinusitis can change the scent of your breath, proving that the body is a holistically integrated machine rather than a series of parts operating in isolation.
Watch Out For Your Gut
On that train of thought, the foods you eat significantly impact bad breath. Not only do obvious culprits like garlic linger on your every syllable, but diet regiments like keto can release ketones that unfortunately instigate foul odors. Everyday Health has a very useful list of foods like parsley, green tea, and yogurt—all of which can help combat bad breath!
Keep Your Mouth Moist
Part of the reason smokers suffer bad breath comes from the habit’s proclivity to spur dry mouth. Staying hydrated with water and chewing sugarless gum helps keep the mouth safe from dryness that causes bad breath.
Practice Pristine Dental Hygiene
Taking care of your teeth takes more than just toothpaste, and the right tools can make a world of difference. Beyond regular brushing, consider adding water flossing, tongue scraping, and of course mouthwash to your daily routine. Expanding your arsenal makes for far stronger defense.
Find the Best Toothpaste for Bad Breath
Keep an eye on your toothpaste’s ingredients. Obviously key phrases like “mint” are a good indicator a toothpaste will provide freshness, but chemicals like flouride and natural compounds like charcoal, coconut oil, and zinc are most widely known to combat bad breath.
8 Fresh Choices to Buy the Best Toothpaste for Bad Breath
Top-Tier Clean: TheraBreath Dentist Recommended Fresh Breath Toothpaste
Nothing tops the all-around appeal of this fresh breath toothpaste. First off, it comes with strong capabilities in preventing cavities, the primary objective of every toothpaste. Sodium lauryl sulfate purifies and fortifies against canker sores, while aloe vera soothes the gums. Armed with a mild mint flavor, TheraBreath’s much-lauded fresh breath toothpaste combats odors with force. This product also comes with a money-back guarantee as slight insurance against its higher price point.
Max Mint: Colgate® MaxFresh® 4.6 oz. Toothpaste
Looking for the most hardcore mint flavor one can find? Look no further than Colgate’s Max Fresh toothpaste, which has literal breath strips in it. I have used this before and it almost gave me a brain freeze—the packaging design doesn’t lie here. Colgate offers an average amount of cavity protection, and this particular toothpaste even comes equipped to give you a whiter smile. Best of all though, they offer a more affordable price point than many other brands on the market.
Sensitive teeth: Sensodyne® Pronamel® 4 oz. Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth
Whether through wear and tear or genetics, some people suffer from sensitive teeth as natural tooth enamel thins out. Such individuals must make extra careful selections when choosing the best toothpaste for bad breath, making sure to accommodate this sensitivity. Sensodyne leads the marketplace for dental products suited to sensitive teeth, and the company offers a special formula focused on fresh breath. “Best toothpaste in the world,” writes one five-star review. “Arctic breeze is my favorite flavor. Keeps your teeth white and bad breath at bay.”
Luxury: Classic Strong Mint Toothpaste by Marvis
Here’s a funny story—I spent my first few years after college using dollar detergent from the deli, thinking that far pricier Tide was a product intended for other, more well-to-do people. Before I became a person who could reasonably afford Tide, I began using it to instill a little luxury in my everyday, and I think that changed my financial “tides” over time. What I mean to say is that making little tweaks in household products might yield a material effect manifested through moods. Add a little refinement to your dental routine while protecting for fresh breath with Marvis’s classic strong mint flavor, which packs max mintiness in an elegant package.
All-Natural: Ayurvedic Herbal Toothpaste by Auromere
In recent years, an increasing number of consumers have turned to natural self-care products from natural deodorant to toothpaste, for benefits related to health, sustainability, and more. Brands like Tom’s of Maine have proliferated these spaces, but their efficacy feels dubious at best sometimes. Auromere makes a natural toothpaste for bad breath that you can actually count on. It’s completely natural, with guaranteed effectiveness based on ayurvedic medicine, including 23 ingredients from barks, roots, plants, and flowers “that have been esteemed for centuries by Ayurvedic Specialists for their separate and combined efficacy in maintaining superior dental health,” according to the product description. Close to 6,700 reviews and a near-perfect rating don’t lie.
Sensitive Gums: Crest Gum and Breath Purify Whitening Toothpaste
Sensitive gums are completely separate from the matter of sensitive enamel, requiring different solutions to stymie their potential impact. Out of all the periodontal toothpastes out there on the market, Crest makes the most effective. Here they’ve paired their gum detox benefits with breath purifying action for a toothpaste suitable to sensitive gums that still “neutralizes 99% of bad breath germs.” While this option also fetches a heftier price tag than other offerings out there, it truly comes in a strong contender for the best toothpaste for bad breath.
Experimental Sensations: Dr. Bronner’s All-One Toothpaste
We love Dr. Bronner’s around these parts. The company makes a full range of home goods products, from the best bar soap to liquid castile soap versatile enough for dishwashing and face washing alike, all the way to toothpaste that offers an experimental array of trendy and freshening flavors. Their all in one toothpaste is also all natural, made with 70% organic ingredients. Not only does it freshen teeth, it also provides whitening and plaque reduction. While this toothpaste is best for people with stronger teeth and hardier dental situations, Dr. Bronners makes the best toothpaste for bad breath if you like an epicurean touch down to your bedtime routine. With flavors from cinnamon to the trendy liquorice taste of anise, this toothpaste gives you a great edge at being someone’s most interesting tasting kiss.
Activated Charcoal: hello Activated Charcoal Epic Teeth Whitening Fluoride Free Toothpaste
Let’s end it on a forward-facing note with perhaps the most cutting edge advancement in toothpaste of this present modern age. Activated charcoal has become a viral internet sensation on the dental hygiene scene, due in no small part to the aesthetic shock value of seeing completely black teeth before rinsing the mouth out. This epic whitening toothpaste leans into charcoal’s purifying properties—the porous material has been known to suck out and cleanse dirt and other particles from the surface of teeth to even the intestinal system. If you don’t mind a little extra mess in your sink while brushing your teeth, hello has become the go-to brand for activated charcoal toothpaste. Paired with coconut oil, it promises a powerful punch against bad breath.
Under the Radar: Uncle Harry‘s Natural Toothpaste
The best toothpaste for bad breath doesn’t have to come from a tube. Maybe you’ve never heard of Uncle Harry’s — we hadn’t — but the internet has gone a little wild for their alkalizing mineral toothpaste, which bucks norms in more ways than one, including coming out of a neat little glass jar rather than a tube. The vegan, mint toothpaste eschews fluoride for mineral clay, sea salt, and pure, natural plant essences that all provide critical mouth health nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus — and help to maintain an alkaline mouth! This option comes in an array of four flavors, too, ranging from standard mint to more interesting anise for a more scintillating finish.
Super Powered: Listerine Essential Care Toothpaste Gel
Would you really trust anyone other than Listerine to create the best toothpaste to fight bad breath? They invented the medical condition in the first place, after all, as we learned! Fortunately, Listerine has dabbled in a bit of horizontal integration to help support the greater cause. Their super powered Essential Care formula fights cavities, gingivitis, and plaque — the last of which causes both aforementioned conditions, in addition to bad breath. It pairs necessary fluoride with mint and eucalyptus, a bold final flavor choice for a bold brand known to leave eyes watering. Follow with Listerine antiseptic mouthwash, of course, the most ubiquitous oral rinse at grocery and drug stores near you.
Brightest Smile: Arm & Hammer Fresh Breath
This one isn’t labeled for whitening, but believe it or not almost all Arm & Hammer toothpastes, based on the company’s best-known baking soda, offer unmatched potential for brighter teeth. Even this new variety, better suited to fighting bad breath, ranks #24 for whitening on all of iHerb’s online marketplace. Some people brush directly with baking soda to make their smile shine, but that’s dangerous for the delicate surface of tooth enamel. This toothpaste, instead, is specifically formulated to keep your teeth scrape-free. It’s also got fluoride for optimal cavity protection, but Arm & Hammer’s own baking soda does the heavy lifting, getting in there allegedly three times deeper than your average tube to clean otherwise tough to reach nooks.
Complex flavor profile: Green Beaver Natural Toothpaste Cilantro Mint
Mint this, mint that. It all gets quite boring after a while, right? Even the novelty of in-gel breath strips in the best toothpaste for bad breath rings dull in our hyperconsumerist era. Fortunately, off the beaten path brand Green Beaver is bringing a more interesting flavor profile to the oral health game. Their Cilantro Mint pits classic freshness against perhaps the most divisive culinary herb for a new part of your morning routine that will delight bon vivants on the correct side of the battle. (You’re right, we said it!) Bear in mind though, there’s no fluoride in this all-natural toothpaste. Now, that can be a good thing for clean eaters, conspiracy theorists worried about the state of their third eye, and surprisingly, people with very sensitive teeth — but it won’t do for those worried about deeper issues like bone loss. All others have been psyched by the new taste!
Hygienist at Home: Phillips Sonicare BreathRx Whitening Toothpaste for Bad Breath
By and large, the biggest at-home oral care proponents rely on Phillips’s dentist-approved Sonicare electric toothbrush to polish their pearly whites. For that reason, we think it’s a safe bet to cop the company’s toothpaste for the most precise possible hygiene too. BreathRX is specially formulated to combat bad breath, with a proprietary Zytex blend of zinc and essential oils geared towards halitosis, alongside stain removers for whitening and fluoride for an all around healthy mouth. At nearly $20, this one’s maybe a bit more expensive than most of the best toothpastes for bad breath you’ll find on a grocery store shelf, but it’s a got a clean mint finish, dentist approval, and a whole lot of sterling reviews.
Wellness vanguard: Green Goo Toothpaste with Chlorophyll
As time wears on, new wellness trends rise to the fore. While activated charcoal has gotten a lot of (sometimes debated) hype over the past few years, chlorophyll seems poised to take over in every way possible — starting off with overpriced health waters, and more recently, with reasonably priced toothpaste. What’s the science? Well, chlorophyll is the same mineral-rich compound that turns plants green. This byproduct of photosynthesis is believed to boost red blood cells and eliminate toxins. In terms of your teeth, some experts say it’s a natural antibiotic that effectively clears mouth bacteria and can even lessen gum disease. Green Goo — and Groupon — have you covered with a cruelty-free, recyclable option if you want to give this hot new toothpaste trend a go.