Rui Goncalves dos Santos
Imagine this. You go out for a hot date with someone you’ve been looking forward to meeting. You sit down at a table to eat. It goes great. The conversation is flowing. You’re both enjoying yourselves. They go in for a kiss and then recoil. Is there something in your teeth? Oh no. Is it… is it your breath?
If this sounds like an absolute nightmare to you, you aren’t alone. It’s a massive fear among many of us that we go about our daily life with terrible smelling breath that we can’t even notice. But what if there was a way to check out how your breath is smelling before you greet the public?
Good news. There are a few ways to do a quick breath check before you go out. Here’s how to smell your own breath.
Why is it Hard to Smell Your Breath?
First of all, why is it so difficult to smell your breath in the first place? The answer is simple: a phenomenon called “nose blindness.” Once your nose has smelled something for a long enough time (like your perfume, cologne, house, or yes, breath), it no longer registers the scent.
This means you could be going around blissfully unaware of the terror that is your bad breath. But there are ways to get around that nose blindness and get to the root of the issue.
A Few Different Techniques
There are a few different ways you can go about smelling your breath. Here are some of them.
The Cupping Method
This one is pretty straightforward. You’ve probably seen it in movies.
Hold your hand like a cup over your mouth, sealing it tight to your skin on all sides. Breathe out slowly, making sure you get enough breath in there so that whatever scent is in your breath makes it.
Then, quickly move your hand from your mouth up to your nose and take a whiff.
The weakness with this one is that you have to be careful that your hand isn’t carrying any scent that could throw off the scent. For instance, if you have just washed your hands with a nice-smelling soap, you may not be able to smell your stinky breath.
This one is a bit more advanced. If you’re a smoker, you’re probably already a bit familiar with this technique, but it can be a very accurate way of checking your breath.
You’re going to want to start by taking a good deep breath in. Then, stick out your jaw just a little bit, curling your lip toward your nose.
From there, exhale out of your mouth gently while inhaling through your nose so that you are sending the breath directly from your mouth back into your nose.
It’s kind of hard to explain, but once you get the hang of it, it can work wonders in identifying the state of your breath.
Cheek and Tongue Swab
For this one, you’re going to need to enlist the help of some tools.
Use either a cotton swab or even a finger to rub the back of your tongue, inside of your cheek, or both. Give the swab or finger some time to settle and dry off a bit, then get a good smell.
This is a great, precise indicator of your breath.
Know Before You Go
It’s always best to check your breath before you go out into the big wide world. If you check your breath before leaving, you have time to do some quick recon, like brushing your teeth or swishing with mouthwash. This can prevent some unfortunate interactions in the future.