Let’s start with the good stuff first. Did you know kissing can be beneficial for your oral health, and even your overall health? Endorphins are released when we kiss and that is good for every single part of our bodies. It burns calories, exercises our facial muscles, and releases tension. Kissing can even boost your immune system.
As far as your oral health goes, kissing can allow us to exchange healthy bacteria that are good for our mouths. It also leads to an increase in saliva flow, nature’s oral protectant. Saliva washes your mouth, rinses away food particles, and contains mineral ions that can repair your teeth! But kissing can also be hazardous.
The saliva that protects your teeth also acts as a superhighway for all kinds of bacteria and viruses, including the bacteria that lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Because some saliva is usually exchanged during kissing, these bacteria travel back and forth from mouth to mouth setting up new colonies and releasing acids that eat away at your tooth enamel.
We don’t mean to scare you out of smooching your loved one… because kissing does have benefits. However, there are some precautions you can take to protect your health.
Know at least a little something about your kissing partner’s oral health. If he or she has bad breath, it could be a sign of gum disease – and remember, gum disease is contagious.
Make sure bacteria doesn’t have a chance to colonize by brushing frequently – at least twice a day for at least two minutes. Brushing after meals is good too, just don’t over brush or brush too hard. It can damage your gums and erode your enamel. Keeping your regularly scheduled cleanings and checkups at our Lafayette dental office is very important too.
Drink plenty of water to keep your mouth rinsed, moist, and to increase saliva production. Also, try chewing Xylitol gum and mints. Xylitol prevents bacteria from sticking to your teeth and creates a neutral pH level in your mouth.
If you have someone you have been thinking of smooching, call us and schedule a cleaning at our dental office in Lafayette.