Pucker up for Valentines Day! Couples who kiss frequently are prone to having healthier teeth, says Top Doc.
A leading doctor is encouraging lovers to smooch more as the activity stimulates saliva which is good for keeping mouths and teeth healthy.
“Kissing is actually nature’s way of cleaning your mouth,” said Dr Chun Tang from private healthcare clinic Pall Mall Medical.
“And the more you kiss your partner, the better, because kissing generates saliva – a mouth and tooth’s best friend.
“In fact, the mineral ions in this essential mouth-waterer, helps to keep it healthy and remineralise tooth enamel, warding off early cavities too.
“Saliva also acts as a mouthwash and cleans out food particles - the cause of most cavities.”
It’s a prolonged snog however, not a peck, required to activate nature’s own dental rinse.
“A person can produce up to half a teaspoon of saliva during a committed stimulatory kiss, so you’d need significantly more than a good night peck,” added the clinic’s Medical Director.
Amazingly, in a 24-hour period our bodies can produce up to four small glasses of ‘salivation salvation’ Dr Tang also revealed.
“Saliva is made up of water, mineral salts, proteins and electrolytes,” he added. “And you make more of it in the winter than the summer – timely for Valentine’s Day some might say.”
But don’t worry if you’ve not got a significant other to Frenchie with on what is supposedly the most romantic day of the year, there’s a handy fill-in – chewing gum!
“Sugar-free gum can increase saliva production by three times, generating a healthy amount for teeth, and a far less sloppy option than a smooch,” added Dr Tang.
Five interesting facts about saliva:
- Saliva is at the forefront of activating digestion, the enzymes help breakdown fats and starches.
- Food wouldn’t have any flavour without saliva, saliva dissolves food molecules so your tastebuds can recognise taste.
- Ever wondered why wounds in your mouth heal faster than anywhere else in the body – it's thanks to saliva containing healing agents.
- Ever questioned why breath in the morning isn’t so pleasant? It’s because your mouth doesn’t produce as much saliva when you sleep so it can’t bacteria bust.
- It’s thanks to saliva we can speak. Moisture in the mouth enable us to move our tongue and form speech patterns.