Ahhh, February 14th. Love is in the air and spring awakening with the sound of lovebirds is just around the corner. This Valentine’s day, the Ontario Dental Association is endorsing an activity outside of their usual health regime suggestions. Following suit, your Ottawa dentist wants you to get involved in this too. What is that exactly?
Well, the results can be memorable – hopefully positively, although you will always remember when you received a poor or sloppy one. They can stand out as something monumental in your mind, especially the first one ever, or the first one from a particular receiver.
“Planting one”, “tonsil hockey”, “snogging”, doing the “tongue tango”, or the “o” in “xo’s”…Whatever you like to call it, it’s kissing.
As many of you know, kissing is a great activity – but for more reasons than you probably realize. Kissing increases the feelings of closeness and intimacy; It’s a great gauge of potential compatibility; Kissing reduces blood pressure; It is a natural pain reliever – especially for headaches and cramps through the dilation of blood vessels; It’s inherently mood-elevating since it releases a happiness hormone elixir or serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin (the same ones which are released when you are in love, from exercising, or eating chocolate); Kissing burns calories if you’re fully engaged (and especially if you make a make-out session of it); And, just like burning calories at the gym does- it boosts your self-esteem!
But the benefits your Ottawa dentist will be most pleased about (although I’m sure they’ll be thrilled that you had a great date night!) is the ability kissing has to fight cavities.
As the less pleasant terms for kissing like “swapping spit” remind us, kissing really does “get the juices flowing” so to speak. When you’re kissing, you secrete more saliva, which works as a natural mechanism to flush away food particles that can lead to plaque, which in turn causes cavities. The increase in saliva also has antibacterial properties that fights bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease. The mineral ions in saliva can even promote the mending of small abrasions in tooth enamel.
If you don’t have someone to kiss this Valentine’s Day, don’t worry. You can get saliva flowing by chewing sugarless gum to experience the same benefits. If you are seeing a special someone, you can pop a piece of chewing gum to freshen up beforehand. Just don’t let bad breath ruin your odds of a health-benefiting kiss! Always remember that the only way to truly address an issue of bad breath, is through a healthy regime of flossing and brushing. If you want someone to kiss you, those healthy habits are a prerequisite!
Happy Valentine’s Day from your local Ottawa dentist, Dr. Jaleel and her team!