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My significant other won’t brush his teeth and I’m at wits end

BAD BREATH BLUES profile image
S-e-x advice Not sure if this belongs in the Sex category, but I talk a lot about sex and that’s what the issue has the worst affect on for me.

He’s 29 and I’m 23. We’ve been together for 3 years and overall we have a pretty damn good relationship. He’s my best friend and we have a great chemistry together, and have always had great sex as well. We’re expecting a baby girl in January and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

One of the few things that bugs me to no end about him is that he won’t brush his damn teeth. I’m worried about his teeth eventually rotting out of his head. They are starting to look so yellow and so covered in build-up. I’m worried about his health, but also very worried about our relationship.

It drives me insane, and it’s been an issue he’s had for a long time. In the past, if we started getting intimate and I smelled his nasty breath, I’d be able to ask him to please brush his teeth, and he’d pout but oblige. There had been a few times that he’d seem really insecure or upset about it, but he never had an issue doing it.

A while ago, I feel that I lost this luxury. He started initiating sex and I nervously asked him if he could brush his teeth. He seemed angry and criticized me for “ruining the mood” and then completely stopped, laid down with his eyes closed, and huffed. Terrified that he’d spend all day giving me the silent treatment for being a tease, I ended up just giving him oral and calling it a day.

Ever since that fit he threw, I’ve been too afraid to ask him to brush his teeth before sexual activity. I WISH he would just, brush his teeth in the morning and at night like a regular adult, but before sex has always been the least I’ve asked. He sometimes remembers to do it the first time he goes to the bathroom in a day, but brushing every 3 days doesn’t really cut it.

My saving grace is when I ask him to shower with me (he isn’t the best at showering too, but it’s more forgivable I guess) and he brushes his teeth during the shower with me. That’s the one night a week that I know I can kiss him and maybe even receive oral sex without my skin crawling thinking about a yeast infection.

But Sunday night my heart broke, because even after he brushed his teeth and scraped his tongue, that nasty garlicky scent was still there. It had been a full week since he’d brushed, so brushing that once in the shower with me achieved nothing.

He does SO many things that contribute to bad breath even in people who brush twice a day.

1. Vaping (super dries out your mouth)
2. Never drinking water, only Mountain Dew, Sweet Tea, or (god forbid) milk
3. Eats insane amounts of ranch with every meal


I love my partner so much, and I desperately miss intimacy with him. I miss wanting to kiss him. When he tries to kiss my neck and breasts (which I used to love and used to turn me on so much) I immediately bee-line to give him oral, because I can’t smell his breath (as strongly) from down there. He expresses wanting to give me oral and how much he loves to, but I’m not even interested because I’m so terrified it’ll give me a yeast infection or something. But I know if I ask him to brush, he will get all angry and make me feel like a shit person.

Sometimes I can’t even sleep because he’s huffing garlic breath all over my side of the bed. Even if I didn’t have an overly sensitive nose due to pregnancy, I could not handle this.

I love him so much, and I have no idea how to confront him about this (again, for the hundredth time) and it actually matter. He gets SO angry. He makes me feel like a horrible person for not wanting to smell his terrible breath. When he brushes his teeth his breath is fine! It isn’t some flaw he can’t help, and he doesn’t struggle with depression or anything like that.

He just.... lives like a teenage boy. It’s been pulling teeth to try to get him to even get a job (still hasn’t) since he’s been unemployed since March and I’m too high-risk in pregnancy to work.

I don’t want to be stuck being a blowjob machine, and only doing doggy style, and never kissing my partner for the rest of my life. I miss orgasms, and being turned on in general. I miss kissing him romantically. It’s starting to take a pretty enormous toll on me emotionally. I can’t even cuddle with him because I get swarmed with noxious fumes.

Does anyone have any idea how to approach this in a way that he can’t turn me into the bad guy for wanting him to have basic hygiene?

My significant other won’t brush his teeth and I’m at wits end

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Hi,

You’re not a sh*t person for wanting your bf to have good hygiene, and you shouldn’t have to ask him to do a basic thing. you’re not his parent and shouldn’t have to ask him or remind to brush his teeth or hope that he will do in the shower with you. And you mentioned he’s started to shower less too, so soon enough that could stop altogether as well unless this is discussed.

When people stop caring about them selves there is a reason. What‘s he really angry about? You mentioned he’s not worked since March, that could be the reason why?

I would ask him what’s the real reason he’s stopped brushing his teeth/caring about himself and tell him how this is effecting you and your relationship with him. Talk about how he could help himself. It’s not going to be a comfortable talk, if he gets angry remind yourself it’s not aimed at you.

My significant other won’t brush his teeth and I’m at wits end

Default profile image
Ever hear of breath mints?

Insist on it or even peppermint gum before he even tries cuddling.

(But really, there are so many other issues with this guy, it's hard to prioritize)

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B-4