Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and love will be in the air for many people. However, there are few greater turn-offs than poor oral health. Imagine leaning in to kiss someone only to be confronted by bad breath, food between the teeth or another dental nightmare!
In fact, these are some of people’s biggest gripes about the oral health of their partners. In a survey conducted by the British Dental Health Foundation (BDHF), 40 per cent said that food stuck between the teeth was their biggest turn-off about their partner’s mouth.
Almost a quarter (24 per cent) disagreed, saying that bad breath was more of a deterrent. Stained teeth was the worst thing 21 per cent could think of about their partner’s oral health, while another 16 per cent said that not brushing twice a day would put them off kissing their partner.
So who is responsible for these dental hygiene faux pas? According to the BDHF, most of the time men are at fault. Some 76 per cent of the participants pointed the finger squarely at the male partner when it comes to toothy turn-offs.
“It doesn’t matter how expensive your bouquet was or how posh the restaurant is, if you haven’t got clean teeth the chances are your date won’t be impressed,” said Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the BDHF. “All of these smile crimes are an instant turn-off, but they continue to affect many of us on a regular basis.”
So what can be done about this if you want to end up kissing somebody on Valentine’s Day? The BDHF recommends a number of things. These range from brushing your teeth twice a day, as you should anyway, to chewing sugarfree gum after each meal to stave off bad breath and remove bits of food from between your teeth.
Dr Carter added: “Food being stuck between the teeth may be our number one oral health bugbear when it comes to romance but only one in five regularly clean between their teeth. To help remedy this, use interdental brushes or dental floss to clean between your teeth at least once a day.”