Travel + Leisure

Is a Valentine’s Day smooch worth it?

Screen Shot 2014-02-13 at 10.46.25 AM For most, Valentine’s Day means elegant dinners, roses and heart-shaped boxes of chocolates tied with a velveteen bow. A “day of romance” is what they say–a day that begins with a smile and ends in the perfect kiss.

Dental school can kill the dreams of hopeless romantics; it makes even a simple kiss seem like a nightmare. The thought of sharing oral flora is not the same as sharing a bouquet of flowers. P. Gingivalis, P. Intermedia, and other critters can be transmitted. Does the world know? Is it worth it to risk the state of your oral health for a kiss? 99.99% of hopeless romantics say yes!

So now you have to dig deep into your dental student neurons and think … how can you make sure your kiss is a clean one? Cosmo wont be able to help. Maybe you can skim an article in JADA. It is your oath as a future dentist to protect the oral flora and establish the proper biofilm in your Valentine’s mouth. We are the defenders against bacteria and bad dates.

How shall we battle these “bad boy” bacteria? Cheese, the perfect appetizer, is a romantic way to kick off your evening. A study released by the Academy of General Dentistry found that cheese can help protect your teeth from acid erosion. Munching on cheese mechanically removes plaque with each bite while establishing a more basic flora in the mouth to prepare for the cocktails that are to follow. Wine, beer, spirits and more, they are the acid on your oral floor. Valentine’s Day is a day when everyone deserves a clean and refreshing kiss, perhaps a mouthwash chaser after the mixed drinks will save the day.

Every dental student knows dark chocolate is better then caramel. Caramel will stick in those deep pits and fissures–no one wants a quick scale before your kiss. Dark chocolate loves the four chambers your heart (and part of the cocoa beans may hinder tooth decay), and is full of antioxidants to keep your ticker ticking on your special day.

We hope that you can speak the language of love today. Whether you say it with flowers or fluoride, chocolate or xylitol, wine or Listerine, happy Valentine’s Day.

Do you change your oral care routine for special occasions like a Valentine’s Day date? Tell us in the comments below.

~Erinne Kennedy, Nova Southeastern ’15, 2014-15 contributing editor; and Jason Watts, Nova Southeastern ’15, District 5 trustee

Erinne Kennedy & Jason Watts

Erinne and Jason are both third year dental students at Nova Southeastern. Jason is the 2013-14 District 5 trustee and Erinne is a 2014-15 contributing editor.

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  1. Carolyn Norton says:

    Cute post! I avoid this problem by refusing to date men who don’t floss. Haha

    1. Never settle, Carolyn 🙂

  2. Nice tips. No one would like to get a a small number of disease-causing bacteria and viruses through the oral cavity from someone, so I also make sure that my partner is practicing good dental hygiene in his everyday life. I think that not knowing who you are kissing could be as unsafe to your health as having multiple sexual partners, kissing and sharing all play a role in spreading decay-causing bacteria.

  3. Great article!

  4. Hard and crunchy fruits and veggies are a great way to naturally scrub your teeth and freshen your breath. Things like apples and celery help clean away odor-causing bacteria for fresher breath! Having a few extra sips of water helps rinse your mouth as well so you’re nice and smoochable.

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