Addressing bad breath has been a long time coming in this column. I mean, what good is a cute boy (me) if I’m spitting forth a nasty plume of disagreeable air every time someone leans in for the kiss? Brushing regularly helps, but those organic toothpastes— sometimes weaker than their chemical counterparts—just usually don’t get the job done on their own. Without the complement of a shot of minty love swished around the old kisser afterwards, I fear all I’d be smooching is one of my five cats, who have no room to complain about anybody’s bad breath.
Jason’s PowerSmile Enzyme Brightening Oral Pre-Rinse is milder than I like, but lingers in the mouth nicely. This one’s claim to fame is papaya and pineapple enzymes, which break down tartar and hold tooth decay at bay. Tea tree and neem oil help reverse sugar buildup, while amino acid-based surfactant Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate gently cleanses teeth. The whole thing calls on peppermint and a wave of citrus peel extracts to battle the breath and certified organic aloe-vera juice to smooth the whole thing out. It’s not my favorite, but it’s on the economic side and offers a nice zing. www.jason-natural.com
Kiss My Face’s Vanilla Mint Breath Blast is top quality. Although it doesn’t contain any alcohol like regular mouthwashes, it gives me confidence. In other words, it’s the most like Scope, but is 100 percent natural, calling on certified organic aloe-vera and licorice root for healing sore gums and fighting plaque. There’s green tea and acerola, too, for a vitamin C kick and acid reduction. The super-fruit antioxidant boost of goji berry, pomegranate, and perilla seed extracts will replace the red wine antioxidant stains from last night’s adventure. A swig of this stuff morning and night gives me an oral sense of security normally reserved for a porn star. www.kissmyface.com
Another favorite is Auromère’s Ayurvedic Mouthwash that tastes a bit like rinsing my mouth with absinthe, thanks to the dominant anise flavor. This mouthwash boasts 23 Ayurvedic herbal extracts and nine essential oils, with a global recipe I can appreciate: Persian walnut, Asian holly oak, Indian almond—it’s like an international yoga convention in my mouth. Despite the yummy taste, it does little to help me get a fix on my dosha, though—am I Vata, Pitta, or Kapha? That’s what I want to know, and I don’t want to fork over $2,000 for a roundtrip flight to India to find out. Once it can do that, I’ll call this one a miracle worker. www.auromere.com
Far and away my favorite is Estrella’s All-Natural Oral Tonic Rinse. Estrella is a very interesting product line developed by a biocompatible aesthetic dentist from California. This mouthwash feels and tastes like nothing else here (or any other mouthwash on the market). Dr. David Villareal’s unique HerbalBrite Complex delivers a sweet, herbal, and almost medicinal dose of daily breath juice that simply feels like it’s doing so much more than masking last night’s garlic overdose. The goodness of this formulation is surprising and plentiful: It includes extracts of green tea, yerba mate, grapefruit seed, licorice root, Echinacea, and witch hazel, as well as peppermint, red thyme, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus, lavender, tea tree, and vanilla bean. Dr. Villareal touts its curative powers. Count me as a believer. www.estrellabrite.com