Hygiene - Knoxville,TN

Updated on April 23, 2010
A.R. asks from Knoxville, TN
14 answers

My husband leaves the house in the morning 3-5 days a week to go to work without brushing his teeth. It makes me sick!!! I discovered he was doing this several months ago and confronted him. I was very clear at how gross I thought it was and what a HUGE turn off it was. He said he brushes his teeth when he gets home and takes a shower and it messes up his morning coffee. I bought him some of those dry colgate wisps (not sure if that is what they are called) then put them in his lunch box and he took them out. Am I being sensitive or is this really disgusting. It actually makes me mad when I know he has left the house without brushing!!! He has done this all this week. HELP!!!

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So What Happened?

I have great dental hygeine and I make my child brush, floss and mouthwash!!! The only reason I just noticed this is because my husbands schedule changed after many years now we get up at the same time. It is very likely he has been doing this all along. We have been together 11 years.

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answers from Chattanooga on

Wow the people who are responding like the man never brushes his teeth need to chill! Evidently he has good dental visits or you would have mentioned it in the post, which means he must be brushing at some point. My hubby has very sensitive teeth/gums and flosses every day but does not brush every day, chews gum and uses mouth wash. And I am very diligent about brushing every morning. However he has better dental records than I do. So this is not a big deal and you should find something worthy of being upset about before getting on his case.

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answers from Norfolk on

Looking for a bright side, at least he's not likely kissing anyone at work!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Toledo on

I agree with Ina. Don't fuss, and don't kiss, at least on the mouth. Teach your kids good hygiene, if you have any, and set an example. If you just noticed this, it must not be much of a problem. At least he's doing it when he gets home.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

It is his mouth, and if you have never noticed until now he must not have bad breath, so his overall hygiene must be ok. He is a grown man, not a child, and it is not your place to tell him how he should or should not care for himself. I would find it rather insulting if my husband put Colgate wisps in my lunch, like he was saying I am a child that can not attend to my own needs.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Well, I do think it is gross.
However I also think that your husband is probably an adult and personally I would not treat him like a child, which is what you are doing.
If you don't want to kiss him, knowing he didn't brush his teeth on the morning, then don't!
Other than that let him make his own oral hygiene decisions, he should be old enough to do so. Everyone has their own little gross habits (nosepicking, nailchewing... I am sure if you think about it really hard you will find something that you do that others may find gross).
This would definitely not be something I would pick a battle about.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

Well, unfortunately, your hubby is probably known around work as the guy with stinky breath. Oh well, I say that's his problem. Just keep teaching your kids to brush and floss. I agree that he is a grown man and he is going to do what he wants. Yes, its gross but just refuse to kiss him until he brushes. At least he has the good sense to brush when he gets home.

I personally have to brush as soon as I get up. I always thought if I was ever on "Survivor" my one luxury item would be my toothbrush lol.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Spartanburg on

hewww...wow, I wonder why anyone would do that, especially if they spend many hours in social settings such at work. Does he do it because he's lazy, because he wants to push people away from him (unconsciously maybe?), does he do it because he is just letting go of himself...or why? The reason why this is happening could be a good subject for a conversation between the two of you. Of course it is unattractive to you...does he even care about this? I say it could be a red flag...I would dig deeper. I don't agree it should be accepted because hygiene is a form of respect for the people around us, especially for the spouse. Try to find out why, good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Asheville on

That would be a difficult situation for me to tackle as well. However, he is a grown man, and although his choice does not appear to be the most informed, there is really so much you can do to encourage him to do things differently. Sometimes the more we push, the more resistance we get. If you were to only brush your teeth once in the day, the best time is in the evening because of all the bacteria that sits on your teeth over night if you don't brush. Some options he has if he is not going to brush would be to chew gum with Xylitol (Ice Breakers Ice Cubes) a lot of research has been done to show that xylitol helps reduce the risk of caries if chewed consistently, especially after meals.Drinking water throughout the day may also be a good choice. Also, he may not be used to what really clean teeth feel like, and therefore be able to tolerate not so clean teeth. As far as oral health, if he is not a snacker, doesn't drink much soda or acidic drinks (am coffee the exception) throughout the day he may be better off than most as these things lead to decreased oral health. If he visits the dentist, they will be able to see the care he is putting towards his oral health, but even then, dentists can give suggestions, but they can't control what people do on their own. Some dentists will not work on people who don't take the time to take care of things once suggested, that is usually in extreme cases, but you can limit the options available to you from your dentist by not doing your part. Sadly, there are a lot of people out there with pretty gross mouths.
I suppose your biggest problem is that he is a grown-up and he chooses this for himself. There is really so much you can do, and you have to decide how this weighs in on your relationship. Is is a deal breaker? Will you be stuck on this and will it interfere with the friendship/relationship you have built with him over the years? What if he does nothing to change this habit?



answers from Knoxville on

Hi A.,
I'm with you. I don't think you are being sensitive and I think it is gross too. Obviously you can't make him brush his teeth. I would just tell him how you feel in an unheated way so that maybe he will hear what you are saying, but that's about all you can do because you can't control him. Good luck!



answers from Nashville on

OHHH! I dated a guy in college who did not brush b/c it messed up his morning mt dew! DISGUSTING! I told him how gross I thought it was and refused to kiss him unless I saw him brush. Not only is it disgusting, it stinks, his teeth can rot, and it leads to other health problems. Just google it and show him! Maybe for a few days....don't brush your teeth when you are with him. Of course when you leave the house do but in the am, try to open mouth kiss him w/ out brushing and see how he likes it. Maybe show him these posts! GROSS. It doesn't have as much to do with dental health as it does about stink and rudeness to you who has to kiss him.



answers from Jacksonville on

That is disgusting, but the next time he wants to have intimacy with you, just remind him, you don't cause his teeth needs brushing. After many no's, he should get the message - coffee or wife, which do I prefer messed up?



answers from Portland on

Good heavens, I didn't know it was a rule to brush in the mornings. I never do, but then I don't usually eat anything until around noon. I think I'd at least want to check for food between teeth if it were me.

But really, A., his mouth is his business. If his breath drops you in your tracks, then his BREATH becomes your business.

I know lots of folks who are in the habit of brushing before bed only. And many of us have good checkups, too. And good breath. Maybe it's a generational thing?



answers from Louisville on

your making too big a deal about it. if you had to sit with him and smell it i would say ya throw a fit but hes not even around you so let it go



answers from Memphis on

Your husband is a grown man that knows better. I am quite sure he has pissed off a lot of people in the morning with his foul mouth. His co-workers will soon distance themselves from him until he can do better with the way his mouth smells. He may even be fired, I know if I was his boss I would threatened to fire him if his mouth continues to smell like boo-boo!!!!! He would rather not brush his teeth because it messes up his morning coffee?? Coffee over ruled brushing his teeth in the morning is very childish on his part. His teeth will start to shed and he will eventually have gum desease.

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