Getting caught kissing under the mistletoe is a long-time holiday tradition that spans centuries. But did you know that this holiday smooch can also lead to some unwanted problems? Of course, kissing anyone can transfer cold or viruses, but your dentist in Alexandria also knows that smooches may also increase your risk for cavities.
From Kissing to Cavities
How exactly does someone catch a cavity from kissing? Well, it’s a little complicated, and in fact, cavities aren’t technically contagious. However, the bacteria that can cause cavities are. Our mouths are home to thousands of different types of bacteria, some are good bacteria and some are bad. These bacteria can be swapped back and forth between two kissers, and if one of you has an abundance of bad bacteria, it can increase the risk for cavities. But don’t worry, it’s not all bad news.
Benefits of Kissing
There are both whole-body and oral health benefits associated with kissing. From an overall wellness perspective, kissing can release endorphins and make us happier, work out facial muscles, and may even burn a calorie or two. When it comes to kissing and oral health, we already covered how good bacteria can transfer from person to person, but your dentist in Alexandria doesn’t want to forget about the saliva. Yes, we’re talking about spit. While that may sound gross, spit is an important part of oral health. Saliva helps wash away excess bacteria and neutralizes acids that can wear away tooth enamel. When we kiss, saliva production increases and can further protect oral health.
Kissing a great way to show someone that you love them, but as we know now, it doesn’t come without risks. Kissing someone who is sick can spread illness very easily since germs and viruses are also swapped through saliva. It can also increase someone’s risk of cavities. But this doesn’t mean you have to stop smooching altogether. There are things you can do to reduce your risk of spreading (or catching) cavity-causing bacteria through kissing such as:
Brushing and flossing regularly
Rinsing your mouth with water between brushings
Chewing Xylitol gum
Seeing your dentist in Alexandria twice a year
Don’t forget, kissing is a two-way street, so both you and your partner should follow the tips above to protect yourselves from catching anything besides a healthy, happy mistletoe kiss.
Accepting new patients from Alexandria, Old Town, and Del Ray.