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