3 Easy Ways to Tell if Your Breath is Bad


Do you ever have the sneaking suspicion that you might have bad breath? We’ve all been there … out in public or with a group of friends, and the question suddenly pops into our heads: how’s my breath? Often, the next time we’re alone, we cup our hand over our mouth, give a solid exhale, and try to find out what we’re dishing out.

Why You Can’t Smell Your Own Breath

The problem here is that you have become accustomed to the smell of your own breath. It’s kind of like when you hop into a friend’s car and it smells like last week’s leftovers never left the premises. The smell is new and abrupt to you, but your friend has gotten used to it (although, you should probably let them know about the odor…). Our bodies adapt to the smell of our surroundings so that we can pick up and identify new smells in the environment. Because of this, the hand cupping test won’t be much help.

So What Can You Do to Check Your Breath?

Lick Your Wrist

One way to get some “feedback” is to lick a clean, dry spot on your wrist. Wait about 15 seconds, and smell the spot where you “left your mark.” Typically, your breath will smell similar to this.

Dab the Q-Tip

You can essentially do the same, but with a Q-tip. This time, swab the Q-tip on your tongue and “pick up” as much as you can. Let the Q-tip dry for a couple minutes, pick it back up, and give it a sniff. Your breath is probably real close to this.

Ask Someone

Of course, you can always ask someone nearby. Though, we suggest turning only to your closest friends and family, as forcefully exhaling on people’s faces is not very culturally acceptable.


Best Ways to Get Rid of Bad Breath

Behold the Mighty Tongue Scraper

One of the most effective ways to get rid of bad breath is to use a tongue scraper each morning. We dedicated a full article to why tongue scrapers are so useful in the fight against bad breath. Add this 30-second hack to your routine, and your breath is sure to improve.

Use an Alcohol-Free Mouthwash

Bad breath comes from overactive bacteria in your mouth. Bacteria love a nice, dry environment in order to grow. Alcohol (and the mouthwashes that depend on its destructive nature) dries out the mouth and dehydrates the body. This is why alcohol-based mouthwashes can often make your breath worse over time. Instead, pick up a mouthwash that is alcohol-free. There are plenty of great options on the market. We offer a few here on our site. They are dentist recommended, backed by science, and loved by tens of thousands of customers across the country.

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