5 Tips for Looking Your Best on a Date

Brush Up on Dental Care

You've been brushing your teeth almost as long as you've had teeth to brush. But it's worthwhile to assess your approach. After all, brushing is a cheap, proven way to prevent discolored teeth and bad breath, not to mention painful gum disease, infections, tooth decay -- all major dating challenges.

For example, are you using the right brush? For comfort and effectiveness, a brush should fit into your mouth without straining. Choose soft bristles to avoid damaging your gums.

How about your technique? Brushing should involve more wrist action than muscle. Short, gentle, up-and-down strokes are preferable for the front and rear surfaces of your teeth. Brush across the chewing surface. The whole process should take about two minutes. Don't forget the tongue. Bad-breath bacteria can build up there, too.

Flossing is essential for getting to those tight spots between teeth and near the gumline where the brush can't reach. For pain- and frustration-free flossing, ease the floss between the teeth in a rocking motion. Curve it around each tooth to make contact with as much surface as you can and gently "saw" upward.

See the next page for our final piece of advice.