Letting someone know they have food in their teeth is one of the hardest things to do. Is there any benefit to doing it and when should you do it?
Why you would want to tell him
Think back to the last time this happened to you. (If it never has, go buy a lotto ticket – you’re one lucky person!) When you looked in the mirror and saw the food, remember what your thoughts were?
“How long has that been there? How many people saw it? Oh my! Was it there when I talked to <insert important person>?”
Suppose someone said quietly, “You have something between your teeth”? You probably would have escaped to the bathroom to fix it.
“Glad they told me,” you might have thought. “I’m happy I got it out before I talked to <insert important person>.”
You could save someone from embarrassment by telling him or her. In return for your sacrifice, you will be rewarded with trust. People will want to be around you. People will feel like you are on their side.
When to tell her she has food in her teeth
Timing is essential here. Wait too long, and you’ve lost your opportunity.
If you choose to do it, tell her within three minutes of entering into conversation.
There are two reasons for this short window of opportunity. The longer you wait, the more anxious you might become. You don’t want to talk yourself out of it.
Secondly, if you wait too long and you tell her, she might think, “Wow, I’ve been visiting for 30 minutes with this person. They have been distracted by this lettuce that whole time!”
Nip it in the bud – tell her fast, that way you can focus on the conversation.
When to leave it alone
Some people have pepper sized gaps between their teeth. If you don’t know the person and the “pepper” in his teeth could actually be a gap – don’t say anything! Of course if you know him, even casually, and know he has no gap, tell him.
If you don’t like him and don’t want him to like you, don’t tell him. Plus it provides a nice distraction if you are stuck in conversation. You can think, “Will anyone tell him? When will he see it?”