14th February 2020

This Valentine’s Day we’re looking at something we all should all be doing twice a day for two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste… yes, we’re talking about brushing your teeth!

On this special day, the Oral Health Foundation wanted to learn how many of you share this very personal routine with a partner.

That’s why we reached out to our followers on Twitter. Here are the results…

Only one in four couples regularly brush their teeth alongside a partner. While, half of all couples never do.

Now, it might not be the typical scene that comes to mind when you think of a couple in love but brushing your teeth with your partner does come with its benefits.

In the TV show House M.D., which tells the story of an antisocial maverick doctor from New Jersey, the lead character Dr Eric Foreman says this on the matter:

“Brush your teeth next to the same person every single day for 30 years. That’s love.”

The Oral Health Foundation agrees. Here are our five reasons why you might want to start brushing your teeth as a couple… even if it’s only for Valentine’s Day.

Eye contact and “the spark”

Tooth brushing is usually a fairly quiet activity. But there’s more to great communication than words.  For two minutes twice a day, use this as a chance to gaze into your partner’s eyes. It’s amazing how prolonged eye contact can help strengthen your connection. 

It helps make brushing fun

Let’s be honest, trying to speak with a mouth full of toothpaste is almost impossible to do without making a fool of yourself which is often followed by a good chuckle. Also, it can often lead to some cute and fun goofing around.

You can make sure you both are brushing correctly

This one is important. By brushing together, you can make sure you’re both brushing with correct technique and not in a way that actually harms your teeth (such as scrubbing with an electric toothbrush). If you’re not sure what correct brushing technique is here’s a reminder:

  • If you are using a manual brush, use small, round movements. The bristles of the brush should point towards the gum. Don't forget to brush all the different sides and tops of your teeth.
  • If you are using an electric or ‘power’ brush the important thing is to make sure you don’t apply pressure and let the brush do the work. A brush is already doing a lot of the cleaning and scrubbing action therefore if you press down or move the toothbrush too vigorously you can cause wear away your teeth, particularly around their necks where softer dentine is often exposed. To avoid this, just hold the toothbrush in place over your teeth and move from tooth to tooth making sure you brush each quadrant of your mouth for 30 seconds each.

It helps make it routine

By brushing together, it helps cement it as a good routine and add that extra layer of accountability so that you don’t end up forgetting to brush or that try and cut corners and brush for less than 2 minutes. It also may help encourage other good oral health routine habits such as interdental brushing or flossing.

Seal it with a kiss

You know the feeling of getting into a bed with freshly laid clean bedsheets? Well kissing with a freshly clean mouth is your mouth’s equivalent. It feels extra nice, is a lovely way to end your night, and is a fitting reward for keeping your oral health in tip-top shape!

Above all, whether or not you brush with or without your partner, the important thing to remember this Valentine’s Day is that oral health really does matter and it’s important to look after your teeth and mouth.

A good oral health routine not only keeps your breath fresh and your smile free of tooth decay, it also helps stave off heart disease, diabetes and also strokes. It all means a happier healthier and longer life spent together.