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DELRAY BEACH, FL (WFLX) - When Dr. Harold Katz approaches with his halimeter, people get understandably nervous. "I don't want to have bad breath."
"People do get very nervous. [They] interpret that as not being clean," said Dr. Katz.
But this dentist, with a degree in bacteriology, says you don't have to walk around wondering.
We went on a bad breath ambush with him outside a Starbucks in downtown Delray Beach using his machine that measures the amount of sulfur in someone's mouth.
Carly Heventhal was our first volunteer. "Not too bad -- low 40's," she said. Anything over 100 is considered stinky.
We were pretty sure Gary Guzzo wasn't going to do well. "No, not with the cigarettes and coffee all morning," said Guzzo.
"You went over 100 [from] smoking and drinking coffee," said Dr. Katz.
It's not really fair to test bad breath at a coffee shop because coffee does give you bad breath, but, Dr. Katz says, that's not the only thing.
"Dairy foods, the proteins act as a fuel source for the bacteria," Dr. Katz explained.
Also, anything with alcohol or sugar, and, of course, the usual suspects -- onions and garlic. But Dr. Katz says if you want to check, stop breathing into your hand; instead, lick it and then smell the back of your hand.
Even Suzanne put her own breath to the test. And, no, she does not have bad breath. Her readings came in at 20.
And if you score high, like Larry, Dr. Katz has created an entire line of products designed to stop bad breath in its tracks. He gave some mouthwash to Gary and tested him again. "Yeah, much better. That's about 10."
A man on a mission to stop bad breath one tonsil at a time.
Learn more about Dr. Katz's products by going to his Web site. You can even send an anonymous e-mail to a friend telling he or she they have bad breath.