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A last-minute date or job interview can be a great opportunity, but if you just finished eating a garlicky meal, you may be worried that your bad breath will ruin your chances of success. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to quickly get your breath under control. Here’s how to get rid of garlic breath before an important event.

1. Chew Gum

If you don’t have much time, chew a piece of gum to quickly freshen your breath. The gum will leave a fresh smell behind that will temporarily mask the garlicky odor. Plus, chewing gum helps to stimulate your salivary flow, and that extra saliva can wash away the garlic food particles that are still in your mouth.

While any gum can help cover up your garlic breath, it’s best to choose a sugar-free variety. This is because sugar-containing gums can contribute to tooth decay, as explained by the American Dental Association.

2. Swish with Mouthwash

When you eat food that contains garlic, the smell will linger until your body expels the food. A strong scent, like a minty mouthwash, can help to cover up this smell until it goes away on its own.

After eating a garlicky meal, simply swish with a rinse to immediately mask the smell. If you’re a garlic lover, you may want to carry a travel-sized bottle in your bag to make sure it’s always there when you need it.

3. Brush Your Teeth

If you have access to a toothbrush before you’re off to impress someone, use it! Brushing removes the smelly food particles from your teeth, which will help make your breath smell better. Don’t forget to brush your tongue because garlic odors may linger there as well.

If you’re on the go, you can still brush your teeth, as long as you plan ahead. Get in the habit of carrying a spare toothbrush and toothpaste with you – or storing them in your desk drawer at work – so that you can easily slip into a bathroom to freshen your breath.

4. Drink Milk

Surprisingly, you can also get your garlic breath under control by drinking milk. A study published in the Journal of Food Science reports that milk significantly reduces the concentrations of the odorous compounds produced by garlic. Whole milk deodorized some of these smelly compounds more effectively than fat-free milk.

5. Eat Parsley

Parsley is a little-known bad breath fix that can be useful in an emergency. Parsley’s fresh scent can help mask the unpleasant garlic odor. Plus, it has a cleansing effect inside your mouth.

If you don’t like parsley, crunchy vegetables like celery or broccoli also work in a pinch. These vegetables can help to loosen any garlic food particles that are stuck to your teeth; plus, their fresh smell can help to camouflage the odor of garlic.

As long as you know how to get rid of garlic breath, you can be confident in any social situation life throws your way.