Are Mints Good for My Teeth?

Aerial view of a hand reaching into a tin of peppermint Altoids breath mints on a wooden table

After a garlic-packed meal or a strong cup of coffee, your breath probably doesn’t smell so fresh. You may think it best to reach for a breath mint for odor relief, particularly if you struggle with chronic bad breath. But choose wisely! That mint may not be as good for your teeth as you’d think. First off, very hard mints can be tough on teeth if you bite down on them the wrong way, especially if you have fillings or crowns. But secondly, mints that contain sugar aren’t good for your oral health!

Sneaky Sugar

Most people will pop in a breath mint to fix bad breath, but would you ever guess that certain mints can contain just as much sugar as candy? Sugar feeds decay-causing plaque, and thus contributes to the accumulation of more plaque. We recommend you limit your consumption of sugar, whether it comes in the form of a refreshing mint, a can of cola, candy, or processed foods and beverages with added sugar.

Sugar-Free Mints

If you enjoy breath mints, opt for a sugarless variety. Without sugar, you won’t have to worry about fueling plaque buildup. Additionally, xylitol, an ingredient in many sugarless mints and gums, has been shown by several studies to reduce the amount of cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth.

Sugar-Free Gum

Do you prefer gum over mints? Chewing sugar-free gum for at least 20 minutes after meals has been proven to clean your teeth while you chew by stimulating saliva flow. Saliva rinses out the mouth and neutralizes plaque-causing acids. But like tooth-friendly mints, your chewing gum needs to be sugarless. However, chewing sugar-free gum should never be used as a substitute for daily brushing and flossing!

Our Team Is Here to Help!

A breath mint, even if it is sugar-free, is only ever a temporary solution for bad breath. We understand that bad breath can be troubling, even embarrassing. But if you’re struggling with persistent halitosis, don’t cover it up with a sugary mint that will do more harm than good for your oral health. We can help you determine the cause of your bad breath and suggest ways to solve it. Take one step closer to fresher breath by scheduling an appointment here at Signature Smiles Dental!

More questions about why you should choose sugar-free mints & sugar-free gum?