After forgetting to brush her teeth this morning, college student Joyce Murray just realized she is in for a rough day of breathing underneath that mask.
“I overslept this morning, and by the time I realized my mistake, I was already out the door and running late,” says Joyce. “I did, however, have time to get down some yogurt and coffee before I left the house, and I am pretty keenly aware of that fact right now.”
Experts confirm that things will get worse before they get better for Joyce and her rank mouth.
“Even without a mask, forgetting to brush your teeth will have undesirable results,” says dentist Dr. Maya Klein. “The decrease in saliva while you’re sleeping leads to the proliferation of bad-smelling bacteria which, in layman’s terms, makes your mouth all nasty. Then add to that a mask just forcing all your hot, gross breath directly into your nose, and you’re really in for a stinker of a day.”
And while the smell is unpleasant on its own, the ordeal has also proved an unexpected emotional trial for Joyce.
“It’s upsetting to really be confronted with the reality of my morning breath,” she says. “Is this what my partner smells in the morning? Am I deserving of love? Lots of questions occur.”
But with six hours left in her shift, Joyce has resolved to stay strong, breathe through her nose, and try to make eye contact with others as though she is not harboring a shameful and fetid secret under that fun cheetah print mask.
“Honestly, I’m maybe starting to get used to it,” says Joyce. “It’s almost comforting, like a smell a dog would really like? Or like a well loved shoe.”
Currently, we are unsure where Joyce stands with her mask breath as her manager asked us to stop interviewing an on-shift employee about how her mouth smells like a shoe.
Good luck, Joyce!