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How do you tell your partner their breath is bad...

(23 Posts)
Scoffedthebreadagain Wed 01-Jul-20 22:54:15

So.... just that really! Don’t live together but been together a long time. He’s a sensitive soul underneath but does like to banter.

Had issues with bad breath on and off over the years. I think it’s linked to lactose type intolerances as he has other digestive symptoms but he’s having none of that. I think during lockdown his oral hygiene routine has somewhat slipped... I didn’t see him for 8 weeks and it’s now been poor almost every weekend since.

Genuine question - how would you raise it? In our old life, when we were going out, I’d offer him a mint and he’d always joke is my breath bad, and I would say things like ‘deffo take the mint’ but I’ve never got it past that. I have never actually raised it.

We’re the sort of couple that don’t even wee in front of each other (but I like it that way) and I don’t fart in front of him either! So this feels very personal, help! Thanks 😬

OP’s posts: |
Windmillwhirl Wed 01-Jul-20 23:07:55

I think you need to tell him. I dont think he is getting the hint with the mintsgrin

Be subtle but tell him. If you smell it, others must as well

Miserablemoan Wed 01-Jul-20 23:11:50

Well, if you wear a mask you can smell your own breath-I’ve recognised mine is a bit ropey after coffee blush so that could be a subtle way of bringing it up in the same vein as the mint offering?

mdh2020 Wed 01-Jul-20 23:12:51

Never mind being subtle. I just ask ‘what have you been eating?’ Or ‘did you clean your teeth this morning?’. I also suggest using mouth wash. Subtlety doesn’t work on some people.

Windmillwhirl Wed 01-Jul-20 23:15:23

Or ‘did you clean your teeth this month?’.

Turnedouttoes Wed 01-Jul-20 23:15:23

Oh this is such a difficult one. I’ve noticed when wearing a mask recently mine isn’t great. I think it’s when I haven’t eaten yet that day regardless of the fact that I’ve brushed my teeth thoroughly.

DP has mentioned it to me once before and it is upsetting but I’d rather he say something and I can do something about it

madcatladyforever Wed 01-Jul-20 23:17:02

i just tell them - sorry love but your breath is horrible, when did you clean your teeth and do you floss regularly.
I would expect to be told if I had dog breath.
That was a major issue with my marriage to my ex husband his breath was so disgusting and rank it put me right off him. i could smell it strongly in the bedroom and often couldn't sleep.
We went through dental hygiene, dentists, having teeth cleaned by hygeinist etc but basically it came down to laziness on his part.
Quite honestly I don't know how his colleagues could bear it.
I told him his breath stank to high heaven regularly but I just don't think he cared.

RedDiamond Wed 01-Jul-20 23:18:44

My EX used to tell me I had smelly breath, especially in the mornings. He made me very self-conscious but not in a bad way.

Sometimes we don't ourselves realise that we have bad breath and, as you said, it could be because of a dietary problem.

How much does he eat? I ask that because I used to not eat very much sometimes and having and empty stomach gives off bad odour.

RedLuck Wed 01-Jul-20 23:19:17

Yo DP your breath honks. Brush your teeth better

RLEOM Wed 01-Jul-20 23:22:58

"Wow, your breath smells like a decaying corpse." And then I'd get him to clean his teeth.

waitingforadulthood Wed 01-Jul-20 23:28:50

I am open about it. "Sorry dh, but you have awful breath, sort it and then we can pick this up where I'm leaving it off" he'd say the same to me. Like a chive in your teeth- it's better to know

SWMH8 Wed 01-Jul-20 23:34:25

Well I live with my DH, he very rarely has bad breath but when he does I just hand him his toothbrush and tell him he needs to use it. Its a kind of joke between us now. I buy him mouthwash and tell him he needs to use it. It's not really that offensive, we all have bad breath sometimes. I think you should just be casual at first, hopefully he will pick up the hint.

JimandWilson Wed 01-Jul-20 23:38:21

There's a great mouthwash- CB-12. Just take some over, say you've been using it with great results and let you know what he thinks when he's used it for 10 days straight...if he asks why it says it's weird, just say you were reading some article about importance of oral hygiene especially during this time with face mask wearing etc

Or, be completely blunt and ask him to freshen up and clean his teeth before you get there...it's gross.

granadagirl Wed 01-Jul-20 23:45:18

Just say it
God your breathe is hanging

TeddyIsaHe Thu 02-Jul-20 00:00:18

I’ve seriously upped my game after wearing a mask, I obviously didn’t floss enough!!

Just be honest. Say: cor your breath honks, are you flossing enough?

dontgobaconmyheart Thu 02-Jul-20 00:30:41

Honestly I would just say. I have digestive issues, however brush my teeth thoroughly twice a day every day, and will use mouthwash as hoc. I'd expect (and would be fine with) being told if I had breath that off putting my DP had taken to an internet forum. I wouldn't expect him to go anywhere near me either before I'd brushed and flossed.

I don't understand why lockdown means he can't brush his teeth though or why he would 'slip' out of a routine of extremely basic hygiene confused. He sounds a bit grim OP. Hardly peak hygiene to be scrubbing your gnashers for a couple of minutes AM and PM is it.

I would simply tell him I'm finding his breath off putting and is there a dental problem he needs to see someone about or can he, out of decency, brush his teeth. He is an adult man, he obviously knows what mouthwash and mints are so I wouldn't source them for him either. It isn't any more subtle and you're not his mum.

BitOfFun Thu 02-Jul-20 00:34:11

Just say when he comes near you "Your breath honks- what have you been eating?"

No big deal.

doodleygirl Thu 02-Jul-20 10:35:44

Just tell him, straight and to the point.

StarbucksQueen Thu 02-Jul-20 11:04:00

I've had bad breath issues, no amount of brushing/flossing helped. Think it could possibly be due to the medication I take. I was single at the time, and used to check my breath with my mum.. She'd be honest, and say if it wasnt good.
I started using Ultradex mouthwash.. Its been brilliant, no hint of bad breath. Its a bit dearer, but is sometimes on offer in Boots or Amazon.

SavannahCat Thu 02-Jul-20 11:23:15

Does he clean his tongue OP?

heyheyho Thu 02-Jul-20 11:42:14

You say ' Your breath stinks'

I'm confused about what else you would say. If you can't be honest with your partner then who can you be honest with?

Scoffedthebreadagain Thu 02-Jul-20 22:37:08

Thanks all, I’ve clearly been over thinking this!!! He is a self conscious sort and can be a bit sensitive so I guess I was thinking of that but actually I take all your advice on board and if it was me, yes I might feel embarrassed but I’d much rather know. I’ll be on it now, thanks again.

OP’s posts: |
Busybee2912 Thu 02-Jul-20 23:32:08

I usually just ask him if he’s brushed his teeth.
He repaid me once by commenting on my garlic breathe and I had the cheek to be all offended grin
Has to be done though, bad breathe is a no-go.

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