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My bf never brushes his teeth and it’s affecting our relationship

My bf (22m) and I (23f) have been together for three years and moved in together for one. After moving in with him, I have been slowly mortified by him not brushing his teeth for days on end. At first I didn’t notice, but then I started realizing he doesn’t brush his teeth when I do… or really ever. It’s such a hard situation because I’m starting to realize I have to be direct. I’ve tried numerous times to remind him and even telling him I shouldn’t need to remind him anymore. When we leave to go somewhere he always says he’s ready and when I ask if he’s brushed his teeth he says no. That’s not ready! I don’t know how nicely I can say it while also being blunt, because it’s to the point where it’s tanking our relationship. His breath always stinks, the buildup of plaque on his teeth is horrifying, and it makes kissing him hard to do. Sex has also become a problem because it’s hard to be attracted to someone going through hygiene issues. I feel bad for feeling this way, but I think what I’m asking for is reasonable. I just don’t know what else to do. I know if I’m too direct he’s going to be so hurt, but I’m so sick of asking him if he’s brushed. I have to leave earlier than him for work, so I can’t make sure he’s brushing his teeth anymore, and judging by the plaque it’s been days. What do I do? And how do I recover my attraction to him after this?
TLDR bf doesn’t brush his teeth

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  1. You are not his mother

    And I know that previous dates he probably has made the effort.

    Now you are living together he no longer sees a need.

    Talk to him. Be honest about how off putting it is.

    If there is no change then it may be time to move on.

  2. You need to sit down and talk to him about how it’s getting in the way of your relationship. There’s no easy way around it.

    Was his breath and plaque always this bad? Maybe he’s depressed or something…. Giving up on basic needs and hygiene is a big sign of depression. I’d keep an eye out for other signs

  3. I don’t even know how you made it a whole year with this level of oral hygiene. Forget kissing and sex, what about conversations?

    Regardless, he’s an adult who, for whatever reason, has made the decision to punish not only himself with his non-teeth brushing, but also everyone around him (does he work in person? Because damn). You live him, which is why you don’t want to hurt his feelings, but he’s gonna get hurt anyway – and honestly, I can’t really say he wouldn’t deserve it.

    As for your attraction to him… Perhaps it’s not the nasty breath that’s turning you off, but having to act as his mother – listen to yourself, you have to leave earlier than him for work so *you can’t make sure he brushes*. **You are not his mother**, that’s why you’re not attracted to him.

    Sit him down and for real, be direct. He doesn’t brush his teeth, and his breath is awful; you don’t want to kiss him or fuck him, and you’re sick of having to mother him. Stop codding this man – he’s an adult, he needs to accept the consequences of his own behavior, and that includes being called out for his dreadful oral hygiene habits.

  4. I learned years ago that when you kiss someone, their germs become your germs. That right there was enough to turn me off to kissing someone that has bad dental hygiene. With that said, he’s a big boy and can make his own choices as can you. This might be a dealbreaker for you and it’s okay to walk away. You are not his mother.

  5. “You’re not taking care of yourself and it’s a huge turnoff and makes me not attracted to you anymore. Brush your teeth or my feelings won’t change”

  6. Poor dental hygiene increases the occurrence of heart disease especially endocarditis, bacteria growing on the inner surface of the heart. The bacteria tend to colonize on the valves causing them to not shut as tight leading to blood regurgitation which affects proper blood flow. In extreme cases, chunks of bacteria slough off and act as a thrombus causing pulmonary embolism or a stroke. Treating bacterial endocarditis is difficult and requires lengthy antibiotic treatment. Good dental health leads to better health outcomes.

  7. Could you ask someone else to tell him his breath stinks and offer him a breath mint? They can do it from the standpoint of not knowing it’s his normal state. So he feels more like it’s a passing comment than a judgement.

    Of course the healthy thing to do is say “here’s the thing, you may not be aware but your breath smells terrible and it tastes really bad. The simple fact is it’s a huge turn off. I have tried being gentle by reminding you but I can’t pretend any more. I don’t want to kiss you when you smell and taste like this. I love you but this needs to change.”

  8. Lol do you want to be known as the chick who is dating the guy with tooth decay? Can you see yourself being married to a guy with black and green teeth and gums in a few years? Hygiene is a choice and he is choosing to be disgusting and unhealthy.

  9. He needs to be told, and seeing as he is acting like a child really by not brushjnghisbteeth orrequirws constant reminding then tell him like a child.

    He 22 years old not months so personal hygiene shouldn’t be this hard for him.

    Sit him down and be very black and white about it. Brush your teeth or this will destroy the relationship as you couldn’t imagine being close or intimate with anyone that doesn’t brush their teeth.

    There really is no gentle way to say it.

  10. Tell him you really love and care about him a lot, but you can’t love him enough to replace the care he’s choosing not to give himself. By choosing not to get help for his mental health issues and take care of his hygiene, he is leaving you in a place where you either have to watch him passively self harm everyday, or leave. And while leaving the relationship would hurt you because you love him, it beats the constant daily guilt and anxiety of seeing him destroy himself and not being able to do anything. So, if he doesn’t start choosing to take care of himself mental health and hygiene wise, you’re going to have to go.

  11. Does your boyfriend need a mother figure? This is definitely affecting your relationship and he’s blind to it. And the fact the constant reminders don’t make it apparent to him that “yeah I need to change this behavior “ is frightening honestly.

    Plus it sounds like he’s circumventing your dental check . So he clearly doesn’t care. So why should you continue to care if he doesn’t.

    Sit him down and discuss your feelings. Only he can recognize the fact he NEEDS to change

  12. Dump him ewwww.

    If you find yourself needing to explain kindergarten basics, things like basic hygiene in the first two dates just leave. Just go. Stop wasting your time.

    >What do I do?

    Move out. You’ve tried long enough to get him to brush his teeth. Does he complain about wiping his ass too??

    Life is too short for this BS. Leave. Run. Go home if you can. Aunt, Uncle, best friend couch. Be single. Find a man who washes his ass and brushes his teeth everyday!! Without being told! They’re out there girl.

  13. I read a lot of responses and not sure if you got any actual helpful replies about how to bring it up.

    First, know that you are not being unreasonable and that no matter how nice you are about it, it is going to hurt to hear.

    But if you say it nicely without attacking and judging him, and with some kindness and reassurance, you will be doing him a service.

    Then the rest is up to him. If he is mature enough to handle it, he will come around to realizing that although it hurts and he is embarrassed, you were only doing it out of kindness and concern.

    So I think the best way to approach it is to ask him to sit with you and have a conversation so it is not “off the cuff” like you said.

    Tell him that you care about him, and really want the best for him, but you are concerned about his health. Tell him that he must have noticed by now that you ask him about brushing his teeth.

    Tell him that it is really concerning to you that he does not take it upon himself to make sure it gets done at least 2x a day.

    I would leave out anything about it affecting your attraction to him etc. Save that for another time if he does.not get the hint

    The key this time is to be direct and clear and let him know that you have noticed this bad habit, and would like to see it change.

    In the end you can’t force him, but you don’t have to live with it either. If he refuses to change you have to decide what you want to do.

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