Altoids, anyone? Face masks making Americans aware of their own bad breath

NEW YORK — Face masks are protecting the people around us from contracting COVID-19, but that may not be the only thing. According to a new survey of 3,000 Americans, many masks are sparing people from catching a sniff of bad breath as well. In a finding that can almost certainly be filed under “unexpected,” 57% of respondents say they are now much more aware of their own bad breath thanks to wearing a face mask.

If this poll, which was sponsored by Dr. Squatch, has made anything clear, it’s that Americans have a serious halitosis problem. In all, 75% of Americans avoid kissing their partner in the morning because they’re keenly cognizant of their bad breath.

Those numbers make these next stats all the more confusing. Despite everything mentioned above, 81% of respondents also say they consider bad breath from another person a major turn off. Another 22% have even ended a relationship over bad breath.

Just over half (52%) say they’re concerned about their bad breath. Why? They don’t want to be considered dirty or gross by other people. Meanwhile, 41% are mostly concerned about their bad breath making them unattractive, and 36% think no one takes them seriously because of their bad breath.

Brushing away bad breath

From here, the survey moved onto teeth brushing habits. Sadly, 35% of Americans don’t brush their teeth twice a day, and close to 10% don’t even brush once daily! No wonder there’s a bad breath problem.

To be fair, though, many respondents (79%) say they feel off all day if they don’t brush first thing in the morning. On average, Americans can only go 14 minutes after waking up without brushing their teeth. Any longer, and they start to feel as awful as their breath. Also, 63% “feel weird” all night if they don’t brush in the evening.

Interestingly, that same percentage (63%) also routinely brushes their teeth at night to stop themselves from having a midnight snack.

Despite 47% of respondents saying they have a set morning and night routine, 34% still feel it’s a daily struggle day in and day out to remember to brush twice daily.

Finally, 36% say they forget to brush at night much more often than in the morning.

The survey was conducted by OnePoll.

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