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How to tell some one they have bad breath

Updated on June 12, 2013

tell your friend about his bad breath and still remain friends

Telling someone about their bad breath is uncomfortable and awkward for both the teller and the hearer. Although it is noble to help your friends, no one wants to be the bearer of such a news. Bad breath can be momentarily as in some one burped something unpleasant, or not eating on time can cause momentary halitosis due to increase in bacterial activity in the mouth. But the halitosis that I'm talking about is the persistent type. Now, friendships takes years to build but can be ruined in much less time. As we know, this is a very sensitive and rather embarrassing thing to say or hear from someone.

What you should not do

  • Giving your friend a bad rap could easily ruin your friendship, so since this is not what your aim is you should avoid gossiping about your friend's situation.
  • Our facial expression can be our greatest down fall, although it might be tempting, try not to have negative facial expressions.
  • Do not and I repeat, do not tell your friend about his bad breath in public, this is not a very pleasant topic and would ruin your friendship for life.

What you can do

If you care about your friend any at all, you would want to see them succeed, and getting rid of bad breath is a big success. Offer your friend a mint or gum that will temporarily disguise bad breath is a good gesture, and is encouraged, but your aim is to get rid of this problem permanently. Telling your friend about his or her bad breath is not good enough, you should offer solutions. Indirectly telling someone that something is wrong does not always work, how ever you would know your friend best and his level of aptitude.

Extend an offer for both of you to visit the dentist, however, sometimes even persons that regularly visit the dentist do have bad breath! You could introduce your friend to a new mouth wash that you have started using, not the commercial ones that disguise bad breath, no, suggest that your friend try chlorhexidine mouth wash, and also add little perks like, it actually helps to whiten teeth, (which is true).

Breaking the news

This is the hardest and most important part. You could write your friend a letter, but for generation X it would be a text. be sure to start out by letting the person know how much you care and love them. then break the news. You could also tell your friend over the phone where it could be discussed further, then suggestions could be made. Face to face is for the brave at heart, it will prove to be very awkward so be prepared for the unexpected because this is unchartered waters, and you can never guess the response of the person. Choice of words is very important, you want at all times to make sure that you have the persons best interest at heart and show empathy.

What ever method you decide on, it will never be easy but if your are a true friend you will deliver. If you were the receiver of such a message from your friend . It took alot of courage and care for that person to tell you and he or she is definitely a keeper!

We can all do our own bad-breath-self-check by putting both our hands over our mouth and our nose, then open your mouth and exhale hard and long, keep your hands in that position for couple seconds, whatever you smell is your own breath! In my next blog we will look at getting rid of bad breath, keep an eye out for it.


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    • keish_777 profile image

      keish_777 6 years ago from Jamaica

      Thanks you guys, happy you like it. It really takes great courage to tell someone though.

    • Brinafr3sh profile image

      Brinafr3sh 6 years ago from West Coast, United States

      The bad breath flaw, if a friend can kindly tell you about the bad breath. Then, that is a true friend that cares. voted up

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      This is fabulous! Wonderfully written and excellent advice. I love the "breath test" given at the end. Being a piano and vocal teacher, I am always fanatic about my breath. I remember how, when I was a child, my teacher had terrible breath. I sure didn't want to put my students through that! A warm thanks to you. :) vocalcoach