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Date: March 22, 2005
Level: Pre-Intermediate +
Downloads: This Lesson (Word Doc) | Class Handout (Word Doc) | Class Handout (PDF)

THE ARTICLE

Japanese scientists have discovered a simple solution to help people who have bad breath, which is good news for their friends who have to smell it. Researchers from Japan’s Tsurumi University found that sugarless yoghurt reduced the levels of hydrogen sulfide in the mouths of 80% of the people they tested. Hydrogen sulfide is the foul, bad egg-smelling chemical compound that causes bad breath. They also concluded that eating natural yoghurt regularly helps fight tooth decay and gum disease. One in four people suffer from halitosis (the medical name for bad breath), and most of us experience gum disease at some stage in our lives.

The study was small, with only 24 volunteers, but the results were promising for people with oral hygiene problems. For two weeks, the participants avoided yoghurt and other products containing the halitosis-fighting bacteria streptococci and lactobacilli, such as cheese and pickled vegetables. Then for six weeks, the volunteers ate 90g of yoghurt twice a day. Bacteria samples were collected from the saliva and the tongues of the participants for analysis after each test period. The results suggest we should switch from mints and breath fresheners to sugarless yoghurt to keep our friends.

Source:
Effects of Yoghurt on the Human Oral Microbiota and Halitosis: K. Hojo, T. Ohshima, A. Yashima, K. Gomi, and N. Maeda. http://iadr.confex.com/iadr/2005Balt/techprogram/abstract_62179.htm

 

WARM UPS

1. CHAT: Talk in pairs or groups about bad breath / yoghurt / tooth decay / gum disease / teeth / mints / breath fresheners / …

To make things more dynamic, try telling your students they only have one minute (or 2) on each chat topic before changing topics / partners. Change topic / partner frequently to increase conversation.

2. YOGHURT BRAINSTORM: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘yoghurt’. Share your words with your partner / group and talk about them.

3. ORAL HYGIENE: In pairs/groups, talk about oral hygiene. How often do you clean your teeth? How often do you go to the dentist? Do you have many cavities / fillings? Do you have bad breath? Do you use dental floss? Write down five questions about oral hygiene – one question under each of these headings:

  • toothpaste
  • mouthwash
  • tooth decay / cavities
  • bad breath
  • cigarettes
  • (other headings?)

Ask your questions to your partner/group. If your group has two questions the same, you must think of another question under the same heading.

4. BAD BODY SMELLS: Talk about these with your partner. Rank them in order of offensiveness:

  • halitosis (bad breath)
  • cheesy feet
  • farts
  • body odor (B.O.)
  • alcohol breath
  • perfume
  • burping
  • hair gel, wax and similar products
  • cigarette breath

 
 

PRE-READING IDEAS

1. WORD SEARCH: Students look in their dictionaries / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … of the words ‘bad’ and ‘breath’.

2. TRUE / FALSE: Look at the headline and guess whether these sentences are true or false:

  1. Yoghurt is a cause of bad breath.  T / F
  2. Strawberry yoghurt reduces the levels of the chemical that causes bad breath.  T / F
  3. Eating natural yoghurt regularly helps fight tooth decay and gum disease.  T / F
  4. One in four people suffer from halitosis (the medical name for bad breath).  T / F
  5. Volunteers in a bad breath test promised to talk about their results.  T / F
  6. Test volunteers couldn’t eat yoghurt, cheese or pickled vegetables for two weeks.  T / F
  7. Test volunteers ate 900g of yoghurt twice a day.  T / F
  8. Results suggest a switch from mints to yoghurt means we don’t lose friends.  T / F

3. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article:

(a)

solution

combination

(b)

reduced

testing

(c)

foul

lowered

(d)

compound

research

(e)

fight

findings

(f)

study

answer

(g)

results

disgusting

(h)

oral

steered clear of

(i)

avoided

mouth

(j)

analysis

battle

4. PHRASE MATCH: Match the following phrases from the article (sometimes more than one combination is possible):

(a)

simple

four people suffer from halitosis

(b)

which is good

we should switch

(c)

foul, bad

hygiene

(d)

helps fight tooth

bacteria

(e)

One in

solution

(f)

their results were

egg-smelling chemical compound

(g)

oral

promising

(h)

halitosis-fighting

twice a day

(i)

90g of yoghurt

news for their friends

(j)

The results suggest

decay

 

WHILE READING ACTIVITIES

1. GAP-FILL:  Put the words on the right into the gaps.

Yoghurt - bad news for bad breath

Japanese scientists have __________ a simple solution to help people who have bad breath, which is good news for their friends who have to smell it. Researchers from Japan’s Tsurumi University found that sugarless yoghurt __________ the levels of hydrogen sulfide in the mouths of 80% of the people they tested. Hydrogen sulfide is the __________, bad egg-smelling chemical compound that causes bad breath. They also concluded that eating natural yoghurt regularly helps __________ tooth decay and gum disease. One in four people suffer from halitosis (the medical name for bad breath), and most of us experience gum disease at some __________ in our lives.

 

 

fight
stage
reduced
discovered
foul

The __________ was small, with only 24 volunteers, but the results were __________ for people with oral __________ problems. For two weeks, the participants avoided yoghurt and other products containing the halitosis-fighting bacteria streptococci and lactobacilli, such as cheese and pickled vegetables. Then for six weeks, the volunteers ate 90g of yoghurt twice a day. Bacteria samples were __________ from the saliva and the tongues of the participants for analysis after each test period. The results __________ we should switch from mints and breath fresheners to sugarless yoghurt.

  

study
suggest
collected
promising
hygiene

2. TRUE/FALSE:  Students check their answers to the T/F exercise.

3. SYNONYMS:  Students check their answers to the synonyms exercise.

4. PHRASE MATCH:  Students check their answers to the phrase match exercise.

5. QUESTIONS: Students make notes for questions they would like to ask the class about the article.

6. VOCABULARY:  Students circle any words they do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find the meanings.


 
 

POST READING IDEAS

1. GAP-FILL: Check the answers to the gap-fill exercise.

2. QUESTIONS:  Students ask the discussion questions they thought of above to their partner / group / class. Pool the questions for all students to share.

3. VOCABULARY: As a class, go over the vocabulary students circled above.

4. STUDENT-GENERATED SURVEY: Pairs/Groups write down 3 questions based on the article. Conduct their surveys alone. Report back to partners to compare answers. Report to other groups / the whole class.

5. ‘BAD’ / ‘BREATH’: Students make questions based on their findings from pre-reading activity #1.

6. DISCUSSION:

  1. What was interesting in this article?
  2. Were you surprised by anything in this article?
  3. Do you like yoghurt?
  4. Do you have bad breath?
  5. Would you tell your best friend he/she has bad breath?
  6. Would you tell your teacher / boss he/she has bad breath?
  7. What are the worst smells on someone’s breath (e.g. garlic, cigarettes, coffee …)?
  8. Are there any nice smells on someone’s breath?
  9. Do you look after your teeth?
  10. Do you love going to the dentist?
  11. Do you eat lots of things that are bad for your teeth?
  12. What do you think when the person you are talking to has shocking bad breath?
  13. Have you ever wanted to escape from someone with really foul bad breath?
  14. Is halitosis the worst bodily smell?
  15. Do you chew gum of use breath fresheners or mouthwash to avoid bad breath?
  16. Do you check your breath before going on a date?
  17. How do you check your own breath?
  18. Who has the worst breath, men or women, old people or young people?
  19. Can you kiss someone with halitosis?
  20. Did you like this discussion?
  21. Teacher / Student additional questions.

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find information on halitosis. Share your findings with your class next lesson.

3. YOGHURT: Write a short essay on the health benefits of yoghurt.

4. DENTAL HYGIENE: Write a short guide for children on the do’s and don’t’s of looking after one’s teeth.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

  1. Yoghurt is a cause of bad breath.  F
  2. Strawberry yoghurt reduces the levels of the chemical that causes bad breath.  F
  3. Eating natural yoghurt regularly helps fight tooth decay and gum disease.  T
  4. One in four people suffer from halitosis (the medical name for bad breath).  T
  5. Volunteers in a bad breath test promised to talk about their results.  F
  6. Test volunteers couldn’t eat yoghurt, cheese or pickled vegetables for two weeks.  T
  7. Test volunteers ate 900g of yoghurt twice a day.  F
  8. Results suggest a switch from mints to yoghurt means we don’t lose friends.  T

SYNONYM MATCH:

(a)

solution

answer

(b)

reduced

lowered

(c)

foul

disgusting

(d)

compound

combination

(e)

fight

battle

(f)

study

research

(g)

results

findings

(h)

oral

mouth

(i)

avoided

steered clear of

(j)

analysis

testing

PHRASE MATCH:

(a)

simple

solution

(b)

which is good

news for their friends

(c)

foul, bad

egg-smelling chemical compound

(d)

helps fight tooth

decay

(e)

One in

four people suffer from halitosis

(f)

their results were

promising

(g)

oral

hygiene

(h)

halitosis-fighting

bacteria

(i)

90g of yoghurt

twice a day

(j)

The results suggest

we should switch

GAP FILL:

Yoghurt - bad news for bad breath

Japanese scientists have discovered a simple solution to help people who have bad breath, which is good news for their friends who have to smell it. Researchers from Japan’s Tsurumi University found that sugarless yoghurt reduced the levels of hydrogen sulfide in the mouths of 80% of the people they tested. Hydrogen sulfide is the foul, bad egg-smelling chemical compound that causes bad breath. They also concluded that eating natural yoghurt regularly helps fight tooth decay and gum disease. One in four people suffer from halitosis (the medical name for bad breath), and most of us experience gum disease at some stage in our lives.

The study was small, with only 24 volunteers, but the results were promising for people with oral hygiene problems. For two weeks, the participants avoided yoghurt and other products containing the halitosis-fighting bacteria streptococci and lactobacilli, such as cheese and pickled vegetables. Then for six weeks, the volunteers ate 90g of yoghurt twice a day. Bacteria samples were collected from the saliva and the tongues of the participants for analysis after each test period. The results suggest we should switch from mints and breath fresheners to sugarless yoghurt.

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