It may sound funny but dating and a good dental hygiene are two things everyone should have. Whether the idea excites you or petrifies you, there can be no denying that dating is an important part of a person’s social life as well. It’s where you learn more about yourself, figure out qualities you like or dislike in a potential partner, and for many people, even meet and get to know their future spouse.

When it comes to a date – particularly a first date – with that special someone, there’s a lot that can go wrong. You’re focused on deciding what to wear, trying to say the right things, and not embarrassing yourself too badly. Undoubtedly, you’ve read about or heard firsthand some pretty cringe-worthy dating stories. With all this information in the back of your mind, you may not be thinking about how your dental situation could affect landing that date!

Your dentist might not exactly be your wingman or wingwoman; however, there is a lot your dentist can do to help you look (and smell!) your best. East Valley Dental Professionals is here to help

  1. Brushing and Flossing and Mouthwashing… Oh My!

Even if your smile is not completely straight or perfect, you can at least keep your teeth and gums as clean as possible!

Sometimes the proper brushing and flossing routine may just involve a few tweaks to make it more effective; many people would benefit from brushing longer rather than harder. Squeezing a nurdle of toothpaste the length of the bristle end of the brush and scrubbing for thirty seconds might initially feel clean with the breath fresheners in the toothpaste, but you’re likely not removing most of the particles and the bacteria will multiply. The bad taste will be back before you know it. Ew!

It’s the action of the bristles ­– soft bristles are preferred – that removes most of the particles of food and plaque. Proper flossing helps remove additional gunk from between the teeth where the toothbrush bristles simply cannot reach.  Remember to brush your tongue too! A clean tongue should be a healthy pink color – not coated with a film of any other color. If the toothbrush is too tall and causes gagging, you may want to try a ‘tongue blade’ or ‘tongue scraper’ to help keep the top of the tongue clean.

If you frequently use mouthwash, be sure to pay attention to the alcohol content.  Some have a high alcohol content, which may dehydrate oral tissues and cause other potential problems. Fortunately, there are a number of non-alcoholic mouthwashes available too. Here are 5 Proactive Tips You Can Do Today to Avoid Big Dental Problems.

  1. Fresh Breath vs Malodorous Mouths

Is greeting your date and getting hit with a blast of gross, smelly air one of your biggest fears? Occasional bad breath can happen to anyone, but save your date the uncomfortable experience by taking some proactive steps to avoid this awkward situation.

Believe it or not, having fresh breath can be a factor in the decision to date someone or not. Some folks have immaculate oral care at home, but STILL suffer from bad breath, also called malodor. It is possible that byproducts known as “volatile sulfur compounds” are being produced. This may improved with a relatively simple fix! The solution to this scenario is usually just proper home care and using a different kind of mouthwash to neutralize those odors. We’re happy to discuss which products our dentists and hygienists recommend.

  1. Cosmetic dentistry: Happy Teeth and Pretty Teeth

If you’re like most people, the first feature you notice when meeting someone new is their teeth! This is especially true on a date. When you want to look your best, your clothes, hair, and the way you hold yourself are all important, but your smile is typically what they’ll notice first. Improving your smile can be immensely helpful in giving you confidence and creating a pleasant, aesthetic appearance.

If there are certain aspects to your smile that you are unhappy or self-conscious about, please let our dental team know! Allow us to discuss these areas with you and potential treatments that may be beneficial. Quick tip, here are 5 Cosmetic Dentistry Ideas to Quickly Rebuild Your Smile.

These options can be as simple as teeth whitening, which can be done over a relatively short time period. Visible stains or decay may be restored for better cosmetics and health. Correcting your teeth can include reshaping or restoring worn, chipped, or decayed teeth with tooth-colored restorations. If you have poor dental function ­– meaning your teeth don’t mesh properly, making chewing, or even speaking difficult – or crowded or crooked teeth, this can often be improved by straightening the teeth with orthodontic treatment. This usually takes a longer time frame, but many adults are choosing this option, so you will be in good company.

Keep in mind that even if you have the cleanest mouth and freshest breath, you’re still obviously not guaranteed a date. Being respectful, considerate, and polite are all essential characteristics for being appealing to a potential significant other. Of course, it’s not like smelling nice and having a great smile will hurt your chances!