The first step to battling the social embarrassment of bad breath, of course, is knowing you have it before someone points it out. So how do you do that? Like we already said, bad breath usually starts with your tongue, so that’s the first point to check. For a visual check, a pink and shiny tongue is good, a white and scaly one is bad, according to Dr. Harold Katz, bacteriologist and founder of the California Breath Clinic. If you have a spoon handy, you can find out by scraping the back of your tongue with the tip of the spoon, letting it dry, and then smelling it.