God, I hope Lil Wayne has dental. A friend of mine recently paid through the nose for a repair job on a cracked incisor. Imagine the bill Mr. Wayne faces every time he has the equivalent of a small jewelry shop affixed to his face. Grills are great, don’t get me wrong; I’d love to be able to glue more than the average American annual salary to my teeth and grin like some maniacal glitter-fetishist until children literally run away screaming. I just can’t afford it.

Wayne’s dentist must be smiling all the way to the bank. All the rest of us can hope for is to polish up our normal, natural teeth until they shine so hard it looks from the right distance and angle that we might have some tiny grills going on. Or at least really cool braces. Trouble is, oral healthcare is boring. It’s one of those things you pay little mind to until you have half a latex fist in your mouth and the piercing whine of a drill lets you know it’s too fucking late to do anything now.

So let me deep into your mouth to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Stage one: Brush properly

Newsflash, muthafucka: you’re doing it wrong. Dentists get pretty aggro when it comes to brushing technique. That’s because people tend to rush through the process and miss the gum line, which harbors more undesirables than a Colombian mule. When you’re brushing, ensure you’re tilting the bristles so they make a good amount of contact where tooth meets gum.

As for the best tool, the jury’s out on whether manual or electric brushes are best. My opinion? Tbh I don’t give enough of a fuck. Experts agree that with the right technique you can indeed do a decent job with a simple brush. Otherwise, if you’re lazy and have $50 to spare, Sonicare electric brushes are simultaneously effective and inexpensive.

Sonicare 2 Toothbrush

Sonicare 2 Toothbrush

$50

Philips

Buy at amazon

Stage two: Floss like a boss

Another thing about grills, come to think of it, is that flossing must be pretty difficult. Do you risk scuffing the metal? Is there a chance the string might get caught between your jewels and you then leave the house with a bit dangling from your mouth looking like some psycho chewing on a tiny mouse? Shit, man, dental care for grillsmen is fraught.

But, boys and girls, flossing is very important. So, grills or no, don’t skip it. You’d be surprised at the shit you’ll find between your teeth that your brush can’t reach. It’s tedious AF, though, so if you struggle to find the willpower to floss regularly you can try instead air flossing. Philips’ AirFloss Pro should for that reason sit front and center in your bathroom.

Sonicare

$120

Philips

Buy at amazon

Stage three: Fight the germs

You spend hours removing dirt and grime to keep your Stans boxfresh, so why can’t you pay the same attention to your mouth? No matter how much you brush and floss, bacteria builds up here apace. And it’s at the root of all gum disease. If for no other reason, wage war on these bugs so your smile doesn’t become offensive to your squad and you end up having to sit on a separate row in the cinema.

Really go to town if you’re a fiend for sugary food. Just smashed a McDonald’s? Floss. Chased it with a Coke bigger than your head? Use an antibacterial mouthwash like Listerine before bed, and upon waking if your teeth feel furry. Used too frequently, mouthwash can actually be bad for your oral health, so perhaps try one with natural ingredients like Aesop’s if your budget can stretch.

Mouthwash

$18

Aesop

Buy at Mr Porter

Oh, I read once that gold is antibacterial. So you could opt for Flavor Flav-esque grills instead and not have to worry about this shit every again.

Hit me with your grooming questions below so I don’t have to come up with column ideas for myself and can just answer them next week. – Alex Harris

Knock, knock. Who is it? Groom service.

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