How do you tell someone he/she has a bad breath?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by crazycat, Jul 31, 2009.

  1. crazycat macrumors 65816


    Dec 5, 2005
    You have a friend who has bad breath, what is the best way to tell him or her so?
  2. Corrosive vinyl macrumors 6502

    Corrosive vinyl

    Sep 22, 2006
    how well do you know this friend? That depends on how blunt you can be about it.
  3. mscriv macrumors 601


    Aug 14, 2008
    Dallas, Texas
    "Dude, your breath is rank! As a friend I suggest you do something about it. Mints, gum, brushing after every meal, I don't know what would work best for you, but something needs to be done."

    Remember, for some people bad breath can be a medical condition and they need to seek professional support for treatment options. But, if your friend just has bad hygiene then just be straight with them. That's what friends are for. :)

    Edit: It's kinda funny your asking this question with what you've put in your signature line.
  4. jzuena macrumors 6502a


    Feb 21, 2007
    Lexington, MA, USA
    In my pocket there's a whole thing of Tic-Tacs. Take as many as you like, please.

  5. Signal-11 macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2008
    2nd Star to the Right
    Offer gum and/or breath mints. When someone does this to me, I assume it might be because my breath smells that day or something.
  6. Dagless macrumors Core


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    "Hey I bet you can't chew 5 sticks of gum at once, ready GO"
  7. madog macrumors 65816


    Nov 25, 2004
    Korova Milkbar
    "Hey, man. I just got this great new gum. You should try it." or some variation thereof.
  8. timerollson macrumors 65816

    Dec 4, 2005
    • Gag slightly when he or she begins to speak.
    • Wear a swine flu mask in their presence.
    • Start telling "Your breath is so stank..." jokes.
  9. psycoswimmer macrumors 65816


    Sep 27, 2006
    Put mints in their mailbox, anonymously of course.
  10. Whack A Mac macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2009
    Do not offer mints/gum. Although they will get the hint, every time in the future they are innocently offered minty products they will assume the worst. Subtlety can lead to over-analyzation and neuroticism.

    ^ Exhibit A. Case in point.

    Be frank with them, but not too serious. And have a new subject to change to so it doesn't get awkward.
  11. Signal-11 macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2008
    2nd Star to the Right
    Meh, I don't mind. I've never been a guy who keeps regular hours so sometimes, I forget to brush my teeth. So when someone offers me breath mints or gum, I just flat out ask, "Is that your way of telling me my breath smells? It's okay if is."
  12. Whack A Mac macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2009
    So it still comes down to telling and not alluding to, hinting or suggesting.
  13. DiamondMac macrumors 68040


    Aug 11, 2006
    Washington, D.C.
    EMail them from a secret account?

    I have a work friend do this to another in the office and it worked.

    Seems childish but I have told another friend this exact thing and to this day the person is ticked off about it.
  14. RITZFit macrumors 65816


    Sep 16, 2007
    In my Corner
    I just offer them some gum and take a stick myself for the heck of it.
  15. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    If you jokingly exchange insults like I do with my friends. "You're breath stinks. Did you eat something that's rotting." Or something along those lines.

    If you tip toe around the issue you miss one an opportunity of friendship. The ability to directly insult without offending.:D
  16. Whack A Mac macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2009
    Yes, any light-hearted way to tell someone works fine.

    A note on gum:
    • Gum does not solve the problem, which we must assume is chronic if the OP has ventured onto a messageboard to seek advice
    • Offering gum therefore can only be seen as a subtle way of insinuating that there is a problem
    • This relies on the person in question 'getting it'
    • Once they have 'got' the subtle message, they might start looking for other 'signals' in life. Is he looking at me funny? Did that guy cover his nose when I spoke to him? Why do people avoid me when I wear the color blue? etc.
    • This could lead to all sorts of problems, and as we don't know the person in question, this risk must be addressed

    Tell them.
  17. cocky jeremy macrumors 68040

    cocky jeremy

    Jul 12, 2008
    Columbus, OH
  18. toolbox macrumors 68020


    Oct 6, 2007
    Australia (WA)
    LoL that made be laugh.
  19. Melrose Suspended


    Dec 12, 2007
    well said. I try to be straight up with people, since that's what I'd appreciate in return. That way, also, there's no confusion.

    I knew this German chap (my dad's age or better) and he had just about the worst breath you've ever experienced. People offered him mints all the time, and he never got the hint (declining the mints, even repeatedly). One day there were a few of us out somewhere and he comes out the store with a pack of gum and unwraps several pieces and puts them in his mouth, saying that he's heard people think his breath is bad. He died a few hours later of an aneurism. He was funny to be around (in small doses) and it's ironic the day he caught on was the day he died. True story.

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