7 top tips to help your dental patients pucker up with confidence!

Pucker up for International Kissing Day 2019

Did you know that 6th July 2019 is International Kissing Day? A great excuse to pucker up, the day celebrates the age-old expression for love and care between romantic partners, family and friends.

Keeping romance alive

When you think of a kiss, you probably assume the type with a romantic partner. That may be because it is very important for relationships, helping to maintain intimacy. In addition, a study suggested that 59 percent of men and 66% of women would be less interested in a potential partner after a bad kiss.[i]

This provides a great reason to remind patients of the importance of their oral health. After all, a great kiss rarely includes bad breath or rotten teeth! Up to 278 different types of bacteria are exchanged during a single kiss.[ii]

Up to 5% of these may be pathogenic. Consequently, minimising the amount of potentially harmful bacteria in the mouth has obvious appeal for individuals and their partners!

It’s all about healthy mouths and beautiful smiles

Oral hygiene is crucial, which, at the very least, requires an effective home care routine. Why not take this opportunity to review your patients’ daily regimes, reflect on techniques and recommend good products? International Kissing Day would offer an informal and inoffensive introduction to the topic for many patients. It might also appeal to their emotions in a new way to encourage compliance.

Furthermore, it could lead to discussions about aesthetic smile improvements. A winning smile is a valued trait in the dating world, with many sources saying it is one of the first features noticed by potential partners. Maybe a patient just needs the confidence to smile more in order to find their special someone.

Added bonus

Once your patients are confident about their oral hygiene and are ready to pucker up, there are several lesser-known benefits for them to enjoy. Firstly, it could help the calorie counter – kissing is thought to burn between 5 and 26 calories a minute. Secondly, it increases saliva production, helping to wash away food debris and bacteria. Thirdly, it boosts hormones oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin, which produce positive feelings of happiness and affection.

7 top tips for your patients

  1. Visit the dentist / dental hygienist regularly.
  2. Brush the teeth before your date and at least half an hour after eating or drinking.
  3. Don’t share a toothbrush. 10 million+ bacteria reside on a used toothbrush, which is more than on a toilet seat.[iii] Even if you kiss someone regularly, your oral microflora will be very different and there’s just no need to share that much!
  4. Drink plenty of water.
  5. Use sugar-free chewing gum after meals.
  6. Avoid smoking.
  7. Consider diet to reduce food and drink that might cause staining on the teeth or bad breath.

References

[i] Hughes SM, Harrison MA, Gallup GG. Sex differences in romantic kissing among college students: An Evolutionary Perspective. Evolutionary Psychology. July 2007; 5(3). Read more here.

[ii] The American Journal of Medicine Blog. Philematology: The science of kissing. A message for the marital month of June. May 28, 2013. Click here to read more. [Accessed January 2017]

[iii] Protection from toothbrush contamination in a snap second. British Dental Journal 221, 44 (2016) Published online: 8 July 2016 doi:10.1038/sj.bdj.2016.503. Click here to visit the website. [Accessed January 2017]

 

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