Saturday, April 18, 2015

Check your breath before you go to that job interview
Author:  Barbara Perone
              Writer | Editor | Reporter | Technical Writer | Proofreader
Let’s imagine for a moment that you’re on your way to your umpteenth job interview, armed with résumés, tons of business cards, your cell phone, maybe even your laptop or I-Pad. You’re wearing shiny shoes and the standard navy blue or black suit, your hair is perfectly cut, combed, or coiffed, – but, uh, how’s your breath?
Most job seekers may be unaware that they have bad breath or halitosis, the scientific name for this odorous problem. Yet, it’s a common condition for lots of people and can have many causes, according to WebMD, including:
  • a build-up of bacteria in the mouth, sometimes caused by slow saliva production
  • failure to brush one’s teeth or scrape one’s tongue twice daily
  • improper flossing
  • low carbohydrate diets that produce ketones to break down body fat
  • dehydration, caused by not drinking enough water each day
  • consumption of alcoholic beverages/coffee
  • certain medications that cause dry mouth
  • smoking cigarettes/cigars
  • consuming strong smelling foods such as garlic or onions
  • problems with cavities/unhealthy gums
  • digestive system problems
  • strep throat
  • a sinus infection
  • liver or lung disorders
The first sign you may have that your breath might not be so hot is to observe the body language of others that surround you as you talk to them during a: networking event, presentation, job fair, or happy hour, etc.
If you are up close when speaking to someone and notice the person doing a subtle little back step; or, if he or she actually backs up a couple of steps, it’s a sure sign your breath probably smells a little bit like your German Shepherd’s.
Now, I swear, I’m not making this up, but actually recommends a couple ways to test your breath odor. One way is to lick your wrist, wait five seconds for your skin to dry. Then sniff your wrist; if you detect an odor, there’s your answer.
Another way seems a bit gross, but here goes … take a teaspoon, turn it upside down, place it way in the back of your mouth (try not to gag). Scrape your tongue and take a whiff of the scrapings. If there’s no aroma, you’re in the clear. If you detect a smell, go brush & floss your teeth, grab a breath mint, or gargle with some mint-flavored mouthwash.
If that doesn’t work, go breathe on your: spouse/significant other, kid, boyfriend/girlfriend, co-worker, or friend and ask that person to tell you the truth about your breath. (Once, I did this with a trusted friend of mine. First, we laughed, then we each immediately popped one of those melt-away breath strips in our mouths!)
Unfortunately, in our ultra-polite society, bad breath is one thing people just won’t discuss with one another. Oh, they’ll be happy to give you an opinion about why the economy is so bad or tell you what they think of the latest disaster on the news, but as to your stinky breath – that topic’s verboten.
Obviously, besides brushing your teeth & flossing twice daily and gargling with mouthwash containing chlorine dioxide, there’re a couple of other ways to curb any foul odors emanating from your pie hole. You can use a tongue scraper. You can also drink lots and lots of water, particularly when your mouth feels dry.
You can also eat a few carbs, consume smaller regular meals, chew sugarless gum or suck on mints, especially after meals, according to WebMD. (The carb thing is surprising, isn’t it?)
If the problem persists, and you have dental insurance, it may be time for a trip to the dentist to make sure gum disease or cavities aren’t causing people to distance themselves from your mouth.

So, before you leave the house for that all-important job interview, gargle with mouthwash (the straight stuff, no water), throw several packages of sugar free gum or breath mints in  your car/purse, and go knock ‘em dead – with your qualifications – not your breath.              

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