Brush Your Way to Better Sex

Preventing cavities isn’t the only reason to take care of your teeth. According to a recent survey, 50 percent of people report that a white, healthy smile is the first thing that attracts them to someone.

If your teeth look good, it sends the message that you’re taking good care of yourself. And knowing you can flash a killer smile is a big confidence-builder when you meet someone new.

Luckily, it doesn’t take much effort or time to go from so-so to sensational. Here are the tips I give my patients to improve their dental health, boost their sex appeal and actually have better sex:

1. Whiten up. Even if you have healthy teeth, if they’re a dingy color, it can make you look older and less attractive. To keep stains away, use an electric toothbrush and whitening toothpaste every day. Then, once every six months (after your dental cleaning), use an at-home whitening treatment to keep teeth looking bright.

2. Banish bad breath. Nothing is a bigger turnoff than bad breath. Brushing twice daily is important, but don’t forget to floss. Bacteria that create a stink sometimes lurk in the gum tissue, and they need to be loosened with floss so they can be brushed away. An alcohol-free rinse also will help keep breath fresh.

3. Improve blood flow. No doubt about it: Red, puffy gums are unattractive. Worse, when your gums become inflamed, the problem isn’t confined to your mouth. The inflammation can cause narrowing of the blood vessels throughout your body, resulting in a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes and even trouble maintaining an erection.

Daily brushing, flossing and regular dental cleanings are the key to keeping gums -- and the rest of you -- healthy. If your gums are red and puffy, or if they bleed easily, see your dentist right away. Much more than your sex life might be at stake.

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by Dr. Jennifer Jablow, a cosmetic and restorative dentist in New York City