How you tell a friend, business associate or loved one that he or she has halitosis will depend on a variety of factors. To begin with, ask yourself:
- How well do you know this person?
- What is your relationship?
- How can I tell them without offending?
- When would be the best time? The best place?
The approach you use depends on the relationship you have with this person. Here are six suggestions, but only you can determine the best way to approach the subject of bad breath.
- To begin, it’s important to be as gentle and sincere as possible. In discussing this problem with someone you care about, think about the words you would use to describe their bad breath. It would be wise to use words like “off,” “sour,” or “noticeable” rather than “offensive” or “pungent.”
- Approach the person with a question, not a statement. Instead of telling them that they have a problem, start by asking if they have noticed any change in their breath or taste. Whatever they reply, just tell them you are concerned because you’ve noticed something.
- Try the direct matter-of-fact approach: “Joe, I found this book useful, so I picked up an extra copy. Let me know what you think.”
- Here’s the stealth approach: Buy a copy of this book, wrap it, and place it on someone’s desk that you care about. This could be a co-worker or a friend. Or, anonymously slip a copy of this book into a briefcase or purse.
- Because until now there was no known cure, you might want to try an optimistic approach: “You know Sam, there’s something I’ve been thinking about telling you for some time. But until now, I didn’t have any good suggestions. Now, I do. This book may be just the thing.”
- One of the best ways to tell someone about his or her bad breath is by the use of a relevant anecdote. Your little story may be real or hypothetical. “I thought you might like to know that I once had a friend who had a problem with their breath. So bad, in fact, that her career went nowhere. But when she discovered it could be cured, her confidence soared, and her career took off.”
The truth is that no matter how you do it, it is difficult. You don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings, and they may feel they are being singled out or that people know their secret. But keep one thing in mind. Halitosis is caused by bacteria that also cause periodontal disease, which causes people to lose teeth. And the bleeding of gingivitis or gum disease increases the inflammation in someone’s body, an inflammation that is a marker for far more serious problems. It is not just an odor. And, there is a cure that others may not know about. So, you are really doing someone a great service by giving them information that affects their health.
Learn more by reading Dr. Miller’s blog article on Bad Breath Cure: Changing Lives for Halitosis Sufferers