Man with cellphone in one hand and a cup of coffee in another.

If you love coffee, you – and, sadly, others around you – know that along with your magical cup of joe comes the pesky consequence of coffee breath. It’s a hefty price to pay for your daily dose of caffeine, but for many, it’s worth it.

Fortunately, there’s a way to get your mini-energy boost and convince your to let you plant a wet one first thing in the morning. Getting to the root of coffee breath can stave off the consequences of chugging your precious elixir.

Why Coffee Causes Bad Breath

Masking the traces of your favorite morning beverage isn’t always easy when you’re on the go. While might work for a bit, it isn’t a solution for xerostomia, a.k.a. dry mouth – another consequence of having your morning brew.

A reveals that roasting coffee beans releases sulfuric compounds, which hang out in your mouth. Add the acid content of coffee and you have the perfect (read: dry) environment for odor-causing bacteria. In addition, caffeine – the stuff that gives you that awesome rush – along with tannins, sugar, and creamers contribute to coffee breath.

How to Bust Bad Coffee Breath

If the strong aroma from your has your and social skills going awry, here are some quick fixes worth trying:

Keep your breath fresh with good dental hygiene.

A surefire way to keep bad coffee breath at bay is to keep your mouth clean with a good toothbrushing sesh. Try closeup Red Hot Toothpaste, a gel toothpaste that has Antibacterial Zinc that blasts away up to 99.9% of bacteria for all-day AMA-ZINC fresh breath.

If you’ve got your toothbrush on you, try to brush after your cup of coffee and give your tongue and the roof of your mouth the red-carpet toothbrushing treatment. A thorough brushing could also prevent cavities and refresh your mouth. Don’t forget to floss!

Drink up!

Staying hydrated is key if you want to prevent dry mouth. A shows that the diuretic nature of coffee increases the chances of xerostomia, which means you’ve got to drink up! Drinking water not only stimulates saliva production, but it also washes away bacteria and neutralizes odors. So, if you’ve got a water bottle left over from your stash, keep it handy.

Skip the milk and sugar.

Frappuccino lovers, sorry to burst your bubble: reveals how both milk and sugar breed bacteria and contribute to sour-milk aromas. If you have the budget, ditch the 3-in-1 and go the cold brew or Americano route. Not only will you , but you’ll also feel better about hitting your local coffee shop for your next cup.

Chew some gum.

We talked about how a breath mint could help for a bit, but if you’ve got gum, it’s even better. Munching on sugar-free chewing gum stimulates saliva production, which helps wash away all the nasties and neutralize odors. Opt for gum with xylitol, since it inhibits the growth of bacteria in the mouth.

Check out other alternatives.

If coffee breath proves to be too much and you’d like to ditch coffee altogether, there are many other caffeine-rich bevvies worth trying. Yerba mate is a South American caffeinated herbal tea that contains antioxidants and other nutrients. Some say it’s just as strong as a cup of coffee and tastes just as great. If Yerba mate proves too hard to find, opt for a black or chai tea. Both are , too.

Everything in moderation.

As the saying goes, it’s possible to have too much of a good thing, and this applies to coffee. If you’re drinking it for an , perhaps your sleeping habits are worth examining. If you love coffee for its taste, why not diversify your palate and try the alternatives above? Keeping your consumption to a minimum decreases your chance of bad coffee breath and helps you stay minty-fresh(er) throughout the day.

Nobody is destined for a life of coffee breath. With good oral hygiene, a little bit of self-control, and open-mindedness, you’ll be happier about being awake in the morning. And so will those around you.