How Do You Tell Someone They Have Bad Breath?

We all have them. That co-worker or friend that always wants to tell you a secret or talk about what he or she did this past weekend. The problem? Bad breath! The smell that makes you want to back away or plug your nose. But, of course, you can’t do that. After all, you have to see this person on a daily basis and you don’t want to seem mean and hurt anyone’s feelings.

So how do you get the message across?

Well, you can do things like offer a stick of gum or a mint – but this will get old fast and what if you don’t have any handy?

Do you discreetly pull him or her aside and mention it quietly? Or do you buy a bottle of mouthwash or toothpaste as a Christmas gift? If all of these just seem way too daunting or pushy, there is another way to anonymously tell someone they have bad breath.  Just go here: http://www.therabreath.com/tellafriend.asp and fill out the form.

The offending party will get an anonymous email from us – don’t worry, we’ll brake the news gently and save you the worry and embarrassment. They will never know that it came from a friend or someone just a few cubicles away.

Some things you should now about Halitosis:

  1. Having bad breath does NOT automatically mean that the person doesn’t brush their teeth or have bad dental hygiene.
  2. You can brush your teeth and scrape your tongue and rinse with mouthwash and still have bad breath if you don’t use the products.
  3. Some people might not even know that they have bad breath. In fact, our bodies are designed in such a way that we can’t smell our own odors. Think about when you buy a new perfume or cologne. You can smell it the first few days because you aren’t used to it yet. But a few days go by and you’re still putting it on each day, and you don’t even notice it anymore. It’s a human process called “Acclimation,” which is necessary so that we can smell other things besides ourselves.

Hopefully this has given you a new perspective (if you didn’t know all of this already) and a way to gently let your friend or co-worker know that he or she may want to do something about that Halitosis.  Pretty soon you won’t flinch away at those water cooler stories or whispered secrets. And the best part is, your friend will gain more confidence and probably be grateful to whoever sent them that email in the first place…but don’t worry. We’ll never tell it was you.

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One Response to “How Do You Tell Someone They Have Bad Breath?”

  1. Genevieve Tallamount Says:

    With all the alleged research available by product pushers, it seems to be apparent that people with bad breath have a disease. Maybe, after your senses are offended, coworkers should think about their coworker. Do you really think a person with chronic bad breath doesn’t already know it? Really? Is that how people with diseases are treated? If you can’t propose a solution, or a work-around for them, please don’t “pull them to the side.” That is for your benefit, not theirs. It will only make the sufferer more paranoid.
    aSome work-arounds include letting the person know you are coming to talk with them before you do–perhaps by email. This will give the sufferer a chance to perform a superficial remedy, either chew a fresh piece of gum, take a quick trip to the restroom for a rinse, etc. If the office air is affected, try placing an odor eliminator machine in the office. They are not expensive. and are available at Wal-Mart.

    You might even approach the subject with the sufferer in a friendly gathering, amidst other topics, suggesting what a “friend” has done to minimize her bad breath, empathizing with the social effects your friend has suffered, refer them to the web for a search on “treating bad breath,”etc. Finally, if the chronic sufferer has any breakthroughs, find a way to mention that you have noticed a change. If you are one of those rude coworkers sufferers fear, something as simple as, “the air is nice in here today,” will suffice. That can confirm that whatever treatment they have undergone is working, even if it is temporary.

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