Dear Aunty Lisa
I need your help. Please don't think I am wicked but… My boyfriend's breath stinks like poop! It smell so bad that kissing him makes me sick.
I initially approached the problem the way most people do. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings or embarrass him so I would just gently offer him gum or mints from time to time. I then started saying things like, “You know I think you might have some food stuck in your teeth because I smell something a little off. Maybe you should just do a little flossing.” No matter what I said or suggested, he seemed unfazed.
His breath has gotten so bad that I cringe when he talks to people because I’m afraid that they smell it too. In fact, my fears were recently realized when he and I had a big argument (about something unrelated to his breath) and when I was seeking the advice of my sister she interjected with the non sequitur, “I’m sorry. I don’t want to be mean, but his breath is terrible. Like I have to hold my breath when he talks to me.” I was mortified.
The issue is now becoming a serious source of tension between me and him. If I ask him to go back and use some mouthwash after he brushes his teeth, he replies with a hostile, “Ugh, you and your sensitivity to smells. Get off my back.”
I don’t want to micromanage him or treat him like a child, but unless I resort to rubbing Vicks under my nose, I don’t know how to get past this problem. It’s bad and I’m desperate for advice.
Please tell me what I can do or give him to fix this problem.