For some, bad breath is a once in a while occurrence that happens when they eat something like garlic or onions. For others, bad breath or halitosis is a chronic problem. If you notice that people tend to keep their distance from you when you’re talking, you may have bad breath. Below are some ways to tell if you have bad breath:
Ask: Some people try to get a whiff of their breath by cupping the hand to the nose and sniffing. This only gives you the smell of your hand. The human body tends to adopt so that you can smell other beings and things apart from yourself so you cannot an odor just by breathing into your hand. If you see people tending to move away from you when you speak, ask someone whether you have bad breath. They may have noticed it but avoided telling you because they didn't want to embarrass you.
Use a kit: If you are too embarrassed to ask, use a home testing kit to test your breath. The kits are available in chemists and they are very well priced. One version of it is a pocket-sized kit. If the kit comes out clear after you put some saliva on it, you are in the clear but if comes out blue, your breath is less than fresh. Whether you want to be sure that your breath is fresh before you step in for a job interview or ahead of a date, you can quickly use the kit and remedy the problem with a breath mint or breath spray if necessary. There are different versions of it which the smallest ones similar to a pack of gum in size to fit in a pocket or purse.
Wrist test: You can also be able to tell whether your breath is stale by licking the inside of the wrist, leaving this to dry for a minute and sniffing. The inner wrist is not constantly handling things so it can give you a true reading of your breath. You can also do this on the back of your hand. It works because if you have halitosis, sulphur salts will be transferred from your tongue to your skin.
Bad taste: Another pointer to bad breath is a bad taste in your mouth. Your may not be able to smell your breath by cupping your hand to your noise and smelling it but you can certainly taste it. You may notice an odor after a heavily spiced meal or after taking an alcoholic or sugary drink. Brushing and a swirl of mouthwash usually takes care of incidental causes of halitosis.
Halimeter test: The best way to test your breath is to have it checked at the dentist's office where it is tested with halimeter. A halimeter is an instrument that accurately measures the concentration of sulfide molecules in the breath and saliva. There is a big difference in sulfide concentration between breath that is fresh and breath that is stale and this is the basis of the test. The instrument is now widely used in dentists clinics and it's the most accurate and honest way to test the state of your breath.
Testing with cotton: Another way to test is to with a piece of cotton gauze. Use some to wipe the back of the tongue and sniff it. If it smells, then your breath smells. You may also see a yellow colored stain which is an indicator of higher than normal production of sulfide.
Testing with dental floss: You can find out if your breath is fresh using dental floss. Use some in between the teeth at the back which is where food particles are most likely to get caught. Smell the floss and you will get an idea of the odor others get when you speak.
Test with the mirror: Here is another method: stick out your tongue. Do this in front of mirror, bringing out your tongue as far as possible. If there is a white colored film on your tongue, you may have bad breath because of bacteria that lingers on this bio-film layer which keeps you emitting a bad smell.
The spoon test: You can also use a spoon to get to the back of the tongue. Invert a teaspoon and use it to scrap the back of your tongue. Do it gently so that you don't gag. If there is a whitish coating on the spoon, sniff it. It will most likely smell bad if there is a coating.