The Valentine’s Day Kiss: Six Tips For The Perfect Valentine’s Day Kiss

February 12, 2010

The Valentine’s Day kiss is not only one of the great romantic events of the year, it’s also a popular subject with philematologists, those scientific folks who study – of all things – kissing.

Our reasons for kissing are many, say the scientists, but most important is the role our sense of taste and smell play in the kissing process. Both the lips and tongue are saturated with nerve endings that heighten the sensation of being in love that comes with a kiss.

Smell is important, too, because it’s how we sniff out the right partner. How a person smells when we kiss is often the most important deciding factor in determining if you will ever get  – or want – to kiss the same person again.

Bad breath is probably the biggest turn off during a passionate Valentine’s Day kiss. Bad breath smells so bad because of a variety of chemicals produced by bacteria that live in the oral cavity, particularly in the surface of the tongue. These chemicals include hydrogen sulfide, cadaverine and –  perhaps the most putrescent of all – good old putrescine.

Fortunately, keeping bad breath to a minimum is easy if you follow these six easy tips:

1. Saliva is nature’s mouthwash. A dry mouth is a smelly mouth. Make sure to drink plenty of water to keep the drool flowing. When your mouth makes less germ-killing saliva, germs flourish and your breath gets worse. So drink plenty of fluids to naturally clean your breath.

2. Take your time. Brush for 2 minutes with a soft nylon bristled toothbrush. Rinse for 90 seconds. The active ingredients in mouthwash and toothpaste need time to be effective. And, if you happen to use an alcohol based mouthwash, before you panic about how much rinsing for 90 seconds can burn…

3. Don’t use an alcohol based mouthwash that burns. Recent studies have associated all sorts of serious long term health problems with mouthwash that contains alcohol. A recent study published in the Dental Journal of Australia said alcohol based mouthwashes “can cause oral cancer and should be removed from supermarket shelves.” While testing in the US has not been as conclusive, one thing we do know is that alcohol in mouthwash definitely reduces saliva production. If you refer to tip #1 you will know this is bad. Less saliva means more halitosis. Look for oral rinse that is alcohol free and uses methods like oxygenation to kill germs without serious side effects, like TheraBreath or TheraBreath PLUS.

4. Make sure to floss every day. The stuff in between your teeth smells very unpleasant. Don’t believe me? Go grab some floss, use it between a couple of your front teeth, then smell it. Go ahead – I will wait…
If you haven’t been flossing regularly I am sure you will agree that it is not an extremely pleasant smell. Oral bacteria create smelly odors by breaking down proteins in food particles – the stuff in between your teeth is like a gourmet feast for germs. Make sure you floss between every tooth and then vigorously rinse with a good oral rinse to wash all that gunk out.

5. Brush your tongue. With your toothbrush. Doing it with your hairbrush is gross. Germs live in the crevices of your tongue. The white or yellow coating that sometimes forms on your there is their collected waste. That bacteria waste is sulfurous and extremely stinky. Brush that stuff off before it makes your mouth extremely unpleasant to be around.

6. Skip sugary mints. They can cover bad breath for a few minutes but ultimately just feed the germs that produce odor. If you want a little breath pick me up try gum with Xylitol (like TheraBreath French Kiss Gum). Gum tends to increase saliva flow and the chewing can help to clean between teeth.

Follow these steps diligently for the next few days and your mouth should be in absolutely top-notch kissing shape kissing shape by February 14th. Make your Valentine’s Day Kiss the best one ever!


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