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How to Tell Someone They've Got Bad Breath

If someone has bad breath, you owe it to them to gently and tactfully let them know.


  • Step 1: Watch your manners Watch your manners and don't address the offender in public or tease them when you broach the subject.
  • Step 2: Offer a mint Offer them a mint without commenting. Pretend to have no idea if they ask your reasons.
  • Step 3: Send an e-mail Type "bad breath e-mail into a search, and find a web site that will send an anonymous bad breath form e-mail for you. Many web sites provide form e-mails that clearly, politely get the point across.
  • TIP: Send a whole toothbrush, mouthwash, and floss kit to the person anonymously.
  • Step 4: Soften the blow Ask the person if your breath smells, as this can sometimes get them thinking about their own without being embarrassed publicly.
  • Step 5: Broach discretely Broach the subject discretely and in private. Begin the conversation by saying, "I've noticed you have a problem I used to have." Even if you didn't have a problem, saying that you did will make it seem like you aren't criticizing and really want to help.
  • Step 6: Suggest drinking or eating Suggest that the person drink or eat something to cut or change the odor – a sprig of mint, cinnamon stick, or a lemon wedge release oils that help neutralize offensive breath.
  • FACT: Did you know? Bad breath is more common among dieters and people skipping meals.

You Will Need

  • Manners
  • Mints
  • An e-mail account
  • A sprig of mint
  • A cinnamon stick
  • Lemon wedge
  • Toothbrush (optional)
  • Mouthwash (optional)
  • Dental floss (optional)

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