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Friday, March 30, 2007

Peppermints Improve Test Scores

Bad breath is a huge turn off. It gives an instant impression that someone doesn't care for personal hygiene. However according to this article, "those with halitosis are blissfully unaware of their condition" while "people convinced they suffer from bad breath actually have odor-free mouths". Certainly there is some kind of psychological reason for all of this. Perhaps those without bad breath have noticed someone with horrible breath that is unaware that they have bad breath and as a result become paranoid that they might have bad breath and be unaware of it too.

Regardless, there is a new movement not only to increase the rate of fresh breath, but to increase test scores as well. At first glance, and even second and third glance it seems to be a bit of a stretch, but according to this article by the Washington Post, there seems to be something to it.

Now whether or not there is some magical power in the smell and taste of peppermint is yet to be determined. It may be attributable to the Hawthorne Effect, where people knowing that they are being observed perform better. Even if they are being observed under poorer conditions their performance would improve.

Regardless of the reason, the benefit is better performance and better smelling breath. It sounds like a win-win to me. I only wish this informatoin would have been out during my school days. I had a few teachers that had terrible breath and loved to get real close when they talked. BLEEGCHH!