It’s Valentine’s Day, and you’ve had a perfect evening with your partner out on the town. Flowers, chocolates and a pricey dinner were all part of the romantic occasion. At the end of the evening, you decide to seal the deal with a goodnight kiss. But then, something horrible happens before you do. In the perfect lighting you found yourself standing in, you’ve just locked eyes on a giant piece of cilantro stuck in their teeth that you somehow missed noticing earlier. The problem? Neither of you have ate cilantro since yesterday during lunch, which means that rogue piece of cilantro had likely been sitting there for at least 24 hours. Yuck.
The scenario described above is a pretty gross way to picture ending the most romantic day of the year. Not to mention the awkwardness that follows when you have to deny your sweetie that goodnight kiss. You may love your partner, but you don’t have to love their brushing habits.
If you already know your partner has poor brushing habits, the most important thing you can do is encourage them to visit their dentist for a deep cleaning. For all other purposes, we researched a fair amount of red flags that can tell you whether or not your partner is practicing proper oral hygiene.
They Have Morning Breath all day
There is a scientific reason why dentists recommend that we brush our teeth in the morning. When you fall asleep at night, your mouth reduces its saliva production. This means that during the snoozing hours, your mouth is basically a playground for bacteria to multiply. As gross as that fact is, it provides a motivating reason reason to wake up in the morning and brush your teeth.
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They Don’t Replace Their Toothbrush
A good rule of thumb when it comes to your toothbrush is that it should be replaced every three months. If you and your partner live together and share a bathroom, this sign may be a bit more easier to notice. If your partner is using a six month or year old toothbrush, that is likely just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what other bad oral hygiene habits may be happening.
They Always Have Food Stuck in Their Teeth
Aside from foul breath, this is the ultimate mood killer. When food gets left in your teeth, the leftover pieces get packed into the pockets that surround the gums. When you don’t brush or floss that leftover food out, it becomes energy for bacteria to breed - inside your mouth, which is enough to gross anyone out.
They Rarely Run Out of Toothpaste
How often do you run out to buy new toothpaste? If you’re brushing twice a day, one standard size tube should last you around two weeks. If you observe that your partner seems to never run out of toothpaste there is a good chance they are either not brushing their teeth enough or they are not using enough toothpaste, both of which are bad habits for keeping a clean mouth.
Their Tongue Looks White
If you need a sure sign that your partner isn’t brushing, look no further than their tongue. Healthy tongues are a fleshy pink color. When we don’t take care of our tongue by brushing, the little nodes on them called papillae can become inflamed, which makes the surface of the tongue appear white. A white tongue can also be caused by other health issues, so it’s important that your partner speak with a dentist to get to the root of the cause.
They Never Have to buy More Floss
Unlike toothpaste, the amount used varies widely from person to person based on personal preference. Because of this, one pack of dental floss may last a person three weeks or a month. If your partner has dental floss that looks like it hasn’t been used in six months of a year, flossing is probably not a core part of their oral health routine.
Educate Your Partner on Oral Health
When you love someone, it can be difficult to tell them news that might hurt their feelings. Talking to them about their oral care habits and hygiene is no exception. If you’re with someone who is struggling with their oral health routine, encourage them to see their dentist. You can also empower them by educating them on healthy oral health habits.
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