Kissing is not universal among human beings, but kissing behavior is also not unique to human beings. Primates frequently kiss one another, and dogs and cats lick and nuzzle one another.
The scientific study of kissing, philematology, doesn’t understand exactly why humans started kissing, but believe it came to be a means of passing on information regarding biological compatibility via pheromone chemical signals, in addition to supporting social bonding and expressing love.
Even so, before you snuggle up to your loved one for some smooching on Valentine’s Day, it behooves you, (and your loved one), to make sure your dental hygiene is in good health, because a kiss is actually more than just a kiss.
Kissing stimulates saliva, which helps to fight cavities, but if the person you’re kissing has poor dental and overall health, you might get stuck with some unwanted germs, illnesses or diseases.
The American Dental Association recommends the following tips to ensure your smile is a proper instrument of love:
Cavities Can Be Contagious
Whether through kissing or something as simple as sharing utensils, the bacteria that causes cavities can spread to another person. Brush twice a day for two minutes and clean between your teeth once a day for cavity-free kisses.
Beware Bad Breath
Bacteria is a big perpetrator of bad breath, brushing and flossing regularly are exceptionally important. Over-the-counter antimicrobial mouthwashes or sugarless gum can also keep bacteria in check. Both can freshen your breath and get saliva flowing. (always look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance)
Share a Life (But Not a Toothbrush)
A big step in relationships is keeping a toothbrush at each other’s place. But, make sure you each have your own because sharing toothbrushes also means sharing germs.
Brighten Your Smile
Nothing is more attractive than a confident smile. If whitening makes you feel better about yours, talk to your dentist about which option is best. There are several over-the-counter products, or you can get an in-office treatment at your dentist, which would be included in American Dental Group discounts.
Smoking Isn’t Attractive
Smoking is bad for your breath and stains your teeth – not to mention super bad for overall health. Smoking has a profound effect on how you smell and taste. People who use tobacco twice as likely to get gum disease as someone who doesn’t smoke. Smokers are also more at risk for oral cancer.
Don’t Forget About the Dentist!
A good relationship with and regular visits to your dentist can help keep your dental hygiene at its best all year long. Your dentist can help keep you healthy, discuss any concerns and give more advice on keeping your smile fresh.
American Dental Group and our extensive network of providers make it affordable to your mouth in tip-top shape so you don’t have to worry when you’re ready to lock lips.
A concept presented over a century ago by Charles Darwin, points out that smiles are not just visible signs of emotions but they also influence your mood. Darwin realized that the cause, consequences and manifestations of smiling is universal, unlike other nonverbal body language behaviors. Babies begin smiling at five weeks old and quickly learn that crying gets attention, while smiling keeps attention.
Further substantiating the power of your smile, research from a variety of studies has proven that smiling people radiate confidence, are more likely to gain others’ trust and cooperation, be promoted at work, and even make higher incomes.
Chipped or missing teeth, fillings, or discolored teeth get in the way of being confident in your smile and hinder the advantages of smiling frequently. If you find yourself struggling to conceal your smile, you are inhibiting your chances for success in business and in life more than you realize.
Some examples of how the power of your smile can facilitate a better quality of life include:
Scientists have discovered that a genuine smile stimulates positive feelings among those who are smiled at, which increases trust. Building trust in any relationship, whether business or personal, is a vital component for individual and professional success.
Help your heart
Smiling activates the release of neuropeptides which help to fight off stress and convey a message to the body that you are happy. Additionally, smiling stimulates feel good neurotransmitters such as dopamine, endorphins and serotonin, which not only relaxes your body, but can lower your heart rate and blood pressure. Stress tends to expedite and augment a myriad of problems, including obesity, asthma, headaches, Alzheimer’s disease, and even premature death.
Increase your positivity.
Not only is your brain aware of when you smile, but it actually keeps track of it. The more you smile, the more you can break the brain’s natural tendency to think negatively. Smiling often enough will rewire your brain to make positive patterns more often than it does negative ones.
Increase your productivity.
Endorphins give you more energy which means you get more done and are therefore more productive. Forbes article “Start Smiling: It Pays To Be Happy At Work,” says that people who are happiest at work have 180 percent more energy than their least happy colleagues. A positive mindset makes you better equipped for the day, diminishing negativity and revitalizing your productivity.
A study by German researchers from the Max Planck Institute in Berlin asked 150 men and women to guess the ages of the faces from over 1,000 photographs and found that happy faces were voted as the youngest looking. The study also showed that smiley, happy people were more attractive and had a more youthful appearance than their counterparts.
Make more money
Studies have even found that those who smile frequently make more money in tips (baristas, bar tenders, servers), are much more likely to receive a raise, and more likely to move up the ladder compared with their un-smiley colleagues.
In fact, studies have proved that you can add up to seven more years to your life by smiling often. As a natural ‘drug’ with healing effects on the body from releasing healing hormones, such as serotonin and endorphins.
If you are self-conscious of your smile, schedule a dental visit soon. Your oral health is essential to living a healthy and quality life style. Smiling readily and frequently not only improves our overall health and our relationships, but plays a leading role in our quality of life. Bring the power of your smile to life!