Don’t Let Bad Breath Make You Fail That Job Interview

If you sometimes have a problem with breath odor, don't let it ruin your chances of getting that new job. Foul breath can be a distraction during an interview and could make a bad impression on the interviewer. Here are some tips to keep bad breath from affecting your next job interview.

1. Be mindful of what you eat several hours before the interview.

A meal containing pungent foods, such as onions and garlic, can affect your breath hours after you've eaten. These foods stay in the stomach for several hours as they are digested. The aroma can escape from your stomach and come back up into your throat to foul your breath. Brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash may only cover up the smell for a few minutes. Plan on skipping these foods on the day you are to go in for an interview.

2. Clean your tongue as part of your normal dental hygiene.

The tiny bumps and crevices on your tongue can hide bacteria that cause bad breath. Even if you brush and floss regularly, you are leaving bacteria in your mouth if you ignore your tongue. After brushing your teeth, run the brush along the top and sides of the tongue for several seconds. Get as far back on your tongue as you can.

If brushing your tongue causes your gag reflex to kick in, have your local family dentistry clinic show you how to use a tongue scraper. This tool pulls the saliva and bacteria off of the tongue effectively. When you include your tongue in your dental hygiene practice, you'll remove more of the bacteria that contributes to bad breath.

3. Use an effective mouthwash.

Make sure that any mouthwash you use labels itself as anti-microbial. If it doesn't kill bacteria in your mouth, the mouthwash will likely just give your mouth a clean taste for a few minutes, but it doesn't prevent bad breath. If you have a particularly bad case of persistent bad breath, your dentist can give you a prescription for a more powerful mouthwash that will help prevent bad breath.

4. Take control of any heartburn issues.

Heartburn comes from stomach acid escaping the stomach into the esophagus. This can also cause bad breath. Antacids can give you some relief from the pain, but once the heartburn starts, your risk of bad breath increases. Have your doctor give you a prescription for a pro-active medication that you take before you eat. This reduces the amount of acid generated by your stomach when you eat. You'll have less pain and less risk of bad breath developing.

5. Keep your mouth moist.

A dry mouth causes foul mouth odor. If you have occasional problems with a dry mouth, keep a water bottle handy to sip from throughout the day. Chewing gum will keep your mouth moist, but have your dentist recommend a sugar-free variety so you don't cause tooth decay. Just remember to take the gum out of your mouth before the interview so you don't cause a different type of distraction.