What do we do about bad breath? What can we say to someone about their bad breath? It’s a sticky…and stinky…situation for both parties concerned. Here are a few options I know of that you could use to help the situation.
First, you can be direct or indirect in your approach, depending on how close you are and how comfortable you feel.
The direct approach starts with you easing into the conversation with a disclaimer that you care a lot about him, you really are trying to help, and your intention isn’t to hurt his feelings. Wait until a time when the two of you are alone and not being intimate. The last thing you want to do is bring up this uncomfortable issue during a kiss. In the future, he might associate kissing with the bad news, which obviously won’t help the relationship. The conversation will be a tough one, and could potentially harm the relationship, too, so use this approach with caution.
You might decide to choose the indirect approach; hinting around to get the message to him. Offering a mint on more than one occasion will hopefully make him aware that you’re trying to tell him something. If he asks whether his breath stinks, consider having the difficult discussion.
At some point you could make a comment about your own breath; saying you must have eaten something that didn’t agree with your mouth, or that you’re noticing a bad taste and wondered if he noticed if your breath stinks. Again, this could open up a challenging conversation so wait until he isn’t having a stinky moment to try this approach.
Another option might be to ask if he had garlic for lunch. Still, this is indirect, but moving toward the direct method. You know he is going to ask about his breath with this tactic.
Perhaps you don’t feel close enough to him yet to bring up this touchy topic, but you know someone close to him that would be discreet and loving. You could share the concern with that person and let them do the dirty deed.
The last idea would be the internet. There are sites out there that will do the telling for you. You can get your message across without putting you in the hot seat.
As hard as this issue is to face, keep in mind that someone having bad breath on a regular basis can be a sign of something more serious; diabetes, cancer, gingivitis. There could be health issues that are going untreated because he is unaware. If he has bad oral hygiene, you will still be saving him from more than just bad breath, but bad teeth, too.
My take on the matter: I would try the mint approach on a few occasions. Because it is such an embarrassing task for both parties, more than likely I would deny any questions the first time he asked about his breath, but I would be ready to give an honest answer the second time around. Waiting until the second time gives him an opening to at least consider the possibility that I’m trying to tell him something. No matter which approach I took, I definitely would wait for the right moment.
You might be surprised in the long run. He may already know he has an issue! This could be the reason his other relationships have failed. It takes a dedicated, caring woman to stick with the relationship and at least look for answers before giving up. The mint approach keeps you from hurting him and hopefully opens him up to tell you about his issue. Wouldn’t that be cool!
The fact is someone eventually is going to tell him that his breath is bad. If you care about him, and you’re close enough to share this news, you would probably rather be the reporter and save him the embarrassment of someone blurting it out in front of others. You’ll be doing him a favor in the long run.