This question often arises when people, typically girlfriends and boyfriends, find that their significant other has some sort of halitosis. How do you tell a person they have bad breath? Do you be subtle about it, or just speak up and tell them outright?
Bad breath is not something to be afraid of. It’s relatively simple to mask and/or cure. But even still, telling someone they have bad breath feels like a daunting task. And that’s why I’m writing this article, to help you overcome that task and find ways to tell someone they have bad breath.
Where Bad Breath Comes From
Bad breath can come from many different areas of the mouth. It can come about because of decaying teeth or food, bacteria on the top of the tongue, from tonsil stones, and even from post nasal drip or acid reflux.
While there are many places it can come from, usually keeping a habit of oral hygiene (i.e. brushing your teeth and flossing regularly) will help cure the halitosis quickly and efficiently.
It must go without saying that those who practice oral hygiene have a better chance to eliminate bad breath than those who do not.
If you want other people to have good breath, then you should make sure your own breath is fine. You can’t control the habits of others, but you can influence them. If you aren’t taking care of your mouth as effectively as you should be, then I highly recommend that you do so.
You may be thinking that’s all fine and dandy, but what about other people’s breath? How do you tell them they have bad breath?
Before we look at that, we need to make sure we’re coming from the place where we want to help them get better breath. If you honestly don’t care if they have bad breath or just want to point it out so that you can make fun of them, then the rest of this article will be in-effective and useless to you.
So make sure you want to help this person out by telling them that they have halitosis.
Subtle Ways To Tell Someone They Have Bad Breath
Give them a stick of gum. Typically when you hand someone a stick of gum, or a breath mint, you are letting them know that they need it for their halitosis. You may want to pick up a few different packs of gum though. Some people won’t take certain gums, like sugar-free or whatnot.
Have a bowl of mints on your desk. If you are in a work environment where you have a desk that you can put things on, then don’t be afraid to put a small bowl of breath mints that are free for the taking for anyone.
Also, encourage everyone who comes to your desk to take a breath mint, not just the person with halitosis. That way, the person won’t feel like you only ask him to take a mint when they can see many different people using them.
Ask if you have halitosis. This is more reverse psychology at work, but if you ask a person if you have bad breath, that can get them thinking about their own breath, and even asking in return if their breath is odorous.
Also, after they say that your breath isn’t bad, you could give yourself, and the other person a breath mint, and say something about using this just to be safe.
Ask if they brushed their teeth recently. Asking this will help the person wonder why you asked then, which will in turn help they realize that something is wrong with mouth, particularly their breath.
The Not-So Subtle Way Of Telling Someone They Have Halitosis
Pinch your nose and wave away any odors. Most people take the hint when you pinch your nose and wave your hand in front of your face. It means there is a bad smell coming from someone, and it’s not you.
Also, pinching your nose, and taking a step back can work too. Either way you do it, the person should take the hint and realize that their breath is bad.
Ask if they have bad breath. Being direct and upfront is sometimes better than trying to hide behind breath mints and other breath-izers. This question gets to the heart of the matter, and gives the person an accurate description of what their dealing with.
Tell them their breath stinks. Sometimes, its best not to beat around the bush, and tell them that they have bad breath. Yeah, you may offend them, but it’s better to tell the truth and offend, then to lie and try to live with someone else having bad breath.
In The End, Help Them Out
Like I’ve said before, make sure your end result is to actually help them out. The reason behind this is that if you are willing and trying to help them, then the person you are telling will have a better chance of taking what you said to heart and actually try to fix their breath.
And when I said help them out, I mean give them advice, give them some breath mints, or even refer them to this site, so that they can control their breath.
Whatever the reason is for their bad breath, don’t be afraid to tell them, subtlety or out-right, that their breath is bad. Putting it off will only confuse the issue and make you feel more annoyed towards the person than you do right now.
How have you told someone that they had bad breath? Did you do it in a subtle way or non-subtle way? Write your answer down below in the comments section below!