Innovation Oral-B Brush-Ups Textured Teeth Wipes ($2.49 for a packet of 12) let you de-scum your teeth and freshen your breath on the fly, without toothbrush, paste or water.

Implementation Carry Brush-Ups in your purse or wallet until the moment arrives -- on a date, before a business meeting, a photo op. Remove the paper sheath (which looks like a single finger from a glove) from its wrapper, stick your finger inside and rub the mint-flavored, nubby-surfaced Brush-Up all over your teeth and tongue. When you're done, chuck the Brush-Up in the trash.

Application A recent weekend trip to a drugstore-free zone was dampened when a toothbrush had been left at home. A swab with a Brush-Up we'd stashed in the backpack tamed tooth gunk and mouth stink until a pharmacy could be found. The single-use finger-sock freshener worked (and tasted) better than the wadded-paper-towel alternative.

Implication Don't think you can trade regular brushing for a case of Brush-Ups, say the folks at Oral-B (makers of many toothbrushes and toothpastes). The handy sheaths, which contain no active ingredients, are meant just to tide you over between brushings and make you presentable (or kissable) on the spur of the moment.

It will certainly reduce the risk of going around all afternoon with that kernel of corn stuck in your smile. In fact, you may want to check on that right now.

-- Jennifer Huget