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Maybe you’ve got everything planned to ensure a romantic evening but it has just dawned on you that your breath may not be as pleasant as all of the other details you’ve tended to. If only you had not canceled that six-month checkup two months ago! Here are some tips to freshen your breath and smile before the big night:

1. Floss, floss and floss.

2. Brush (let’s make the assumption that if you’re taking the time to floss, you’ll also brush on the same bathroom visit).

3. Brush your tongue or use a tongue scraper. Your tongue harbors the same bacteria that we brush twice daily to remove…so let’s get rid of all of it!

4. To whiten those pearly whites, grab some whitening strips from the store and use as directed. Strapped for time (or cash)?… Dr. Jekel approves the occasional brushing with a paste of baking soda and water to minimize tough stains.

5. After brushing, flossing, scraping and brightening, fill your mouth with water and swish the water in your mouth to capture the debris you have just worked so hard to loosen and remove and spit out. Repeat.

6. Freshen your breath with an alcohol-free mouthwash.

7. Call and make your dental checkup appointment so your hygienist can do the work to get your oral health up to speed.

Here’s to a romantic Valentine’s Day!