How to tell someone they have bad breath

You have the best intentions. Your friend has chronic bad breath and it is time to tell her. It’s not simply because the smell bothers you (which it does) but people are beginning to make fun of her behind her back. You’ve tried hinting about the problem to no avail. Telling her will hurt her feelings, but if she fixes the problem it will help her in the long run, right? But once the moment of truth comes, you just can’t bring yourself to do it.

This is a common experience. Telling someone that they have bad breath is not an envious burden. Even when you have the best intentions, at the end of the day you are still telling someone you care about something that could potentially hurt their feelings. At ProFresh, we’ve heard countless stories of people getting told about their bad breath. Here are some useful methods when telling someone about their bad breath.

1) Tell them in private. For obvious reasons, this is a conversation that you do not want to hold in public. Also, remember that this is not an intervention. You do not need to bring a group of people and have a sit down about bad breath.

2) Keep it light. And brief. Avoid emotional speeches – this is not the biggest issue in the world. Say what you have to say and leave it at that.

3) Be non-descriptive. Avoid getting into details about how bad their breath is, how everyone talks about it, etc. They will get the point.

4) Remember you are doing it for the right reasons. This isn’t going to be anyone’s favorite subject. If they get upset, defensive, or even angry realize their anger is not towards you but towards an embarrassing situation.

5) Offer to be their Breath Buddy.  Tell them the fact is that no one can smell their own breath, so there’s no way they could’ve known.  But you love them and you’re willing to check their breath for them every now and again.

If you still feel that you can’t do this, you can always send a friend literature on bad breath and halitosis anonymously from our website. This often gives people the hint that they need to fix their problem.

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