How to tactfully hint that someone else has bad breath

Woman telling secret.Having bad breath in public is the worst! But sometimes we don’t even realize that our breath is causing the room to quickly empty. You know how people often say “If it were me, I’d like to know about it.” well, it’s easier said than done. When someone around you is suffering from halitosis, and it’s making interactions difficult, it may not be as simple as it seems to give them the heads up. Here are a few creative ways to let anyone from your boss to your sweetie know they are stinking up the room:

Insult yourself

Even if it isn’t true, saying that you feel like your breath is smelly may actually have another person feeling like they are experiencing the same thing. You can ask the other person if they have any mints or gum, which will likely lead them to snack on one of these remedies as well. If you have gum or mints, offer the other person one as well. You may want to find a unique way of offering them this bad breath killer, so ask if they’ve tried a new flavor or comment on a stick of gum being your go-to. However, stay away from sugary gum, because even though it might kick the smell for a time being, it will just make it worse overall.

Make up a character

You won’t want to blurt out that the person you’re standing next to has awful bad breath, so it might be helpful to make up a scenario when you ran into someone with extreme halitosis. Tell the person you’re with about a person that you met in the waiting room of a dentist’s office with chronic halitosis who was there for a deep cleaning to help get rid of bad breath. Explain that she was there because she found out she had gum disease, but wasn’t aware of how bad her breath was. This story may have the person re-thinking their oral hygiene, but it also could just make the person feel like they need a breath mint – like how talking about food can make you hungry even if you really aren’t.

Discuss good oral health

If you talk to the person about how you always forget to use mouthwash or floss, although your dentist suggests that you do this everyday, it may raise their consciousness about his or her own poor oral hygiene. If it is your beau that has bad breath, lead by example and practice good oral health in front of the person as much as possible. After eating a meal, excuse yourself to floss or use mouthwash. Women may want to carry around a travel size mouthwash and offer it to the person with bad breath. They won’t feel embarrassed if you think you also have bad breath.


Talk about a new product

If offering a mint or piece of gum doesn’t give the person you are with a hint that their breath stinks, talking about a great product you’ve recently tried out may help them in the long run. You could tell the person about a new alcohol free mouthwash or natural toothpaste that has done wonders to your mouth. If you are talking about how much you love a product, the other person may be inclined to try it out as well. Unfortunately, this is more of a long-term solution, though, and won’t help out in the moment.

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