How to Get Your Mouth Ready for Some Valentine's Day Smooching


If you’re hoping Cupid’s arrow finds you this Valentine’s Day, consider giving your mouthparts a once-over before heading out. After all, clean kissers equal good kissers.

We’ve put together a guide for turning your just-ok-could-be-better mouth into a veritable kissing tractor beam—that means no flaky lips, no coffee-stained teeth, no garbage breath and certainly no steel-wool scruff.

Lips: You can prevent yourself from getting dry, flaky lips in the first place by drinking more water. First off, it’s what bodies crave, and second it works. Also, apply balm as often as you can—your lips don’t need to be dry for lip balm to be a good idea. After all, your lips can’t be too moisturized. Just make sure to grease up not just your lips, but also the areas around them. It may not be the best look, but the borders of the lips are prone to extreme dryness.

Mouth: If you aren’t already brushing your teeth twice a day, you’ve got bigger problems than some stained teeth. But if textbook oral hygiene doesn’t rid your teeth of yellow surface stains, brushing with baking soda once a week should remove them—just dab your wet toothbrush into the powder and brush normally for two minutes.

Breath: Is your mouth giving off an odor? Don’t mask it with sprays, mints and washes—just clean your tongue. Besides specialized scraping tools you can pick up at your local drugstore, home remedies like your toothbrush a small spoon will do the trick. Just apply to your tongue, scrub from front to back, rinse and repeat.

Scruff: Some guys have brillo pads for faces, and when they get to kissing all bets are off. Do your date—and any chance for a future date—a favor: Keep that scruff short, or, better yet, clean shaven. But if the prospect of losing your beard gives you night sweats, at least consider softening it up a bit with some hair conditioner, beard oil or aloe vera before heading out.