With Valentine’s Day around the corner studies show that cavities as well as gum disease are contagious—and can be transmitted through swapping spit, just like colds and flu, according to Marc Liechtung, DMD, principal in New York-based Manhattan Dental Arts, a practice that specializes in cosmetic and restorative dentistry. “Cavities are caused by bacteria in our mouths and these bacteria can be passed through saliva onto someone you are kissing, thereby causing cavities. A number of other studies have shown that this can occur in children as well as couples,” adds Dr. Liechtung. But don’t call it quits on kissing just yet! Here are his tips:
· Make sure you brush your teeth and tongue (yes, your tongue) twice a day and remove excess plaque and bacteria with flossing.
· Use anti-bacterial mouth wash once or twice a day.
· Chew gum. Chewing gum stimulates the salivary function and the function of saliva is to clean your teeth.
· Eat good dental foods—an apple a day will keep both the doctor and the dentist away. Fiber-rich and crunchy foods are natural tooth cleaners.
· Never go to sleep with an unclean mouth. When we sleep we have a reduced salivary flow. If you don’t wash away the cavity-causing bacteria your mouth won’t either.
· Visit your dentist twice a year for check-ups. For additional information please go to www.ManhattanDentalArts.comAs we always plan to see our Dentist at least twice a year for a check up here is a short list of some kissing trivia, compliments of Marc Liechtung, DMD, principal in New York-based Manhattan Dental Arts,
· Kissing can cause cavities. If you kiss someone who may have bad bacteria in his/her mouth, their saliva could pass the bacteria on to you, thereby causing cavities. On the other hand, according to Dr. Liechtung, others believe that kissing may actually prevent cavities since saliva is the body’s natural way of cleaning the mouth.
· Kisses & Calories. You burn 26 calories in a one minute kiss.
· Start your Engines. The average woman will kiss 79 guys before she’s married.
· A Lifetime of Kissing. The average person will spend an estimated 20,160 minutes kissing in their lifetime.
· First Kiss. 50% of all people have their first kiss before the age of 14.
· Ninety percent of people in the world engage in kisses on the lips. People in other cultures, such as Eskimos, rub noses.
· Kissing Record. In September 1990 Alfred Wolfram kissed 8,001 people in 8 hours (over 16 people a minute) at theMinnesota Renaissance Festival.
· First Movie Kiss. John C. Rice kissed May Irwin in 1896 and became the first couple to be recorded kissing in the film The Kiss.
· South Africa Bans Kissing. In December 2007 the South African government banned kissing involving anyone under the age of 16, regardless of consent.
· Blarney Stone. According to legend, any person who kisses the Blarney Stone in the Blarney Castle in Cork, Ireland, will be endowed with the gift of gab.
To keep your mouth kissable, Dr. Liechtung suggests daily brushing and an annual visit to your dentist for a check-up. For additional information please go to www.ManhattanDentalArts.