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Love Your Teeth This Valentine's Day

Kiss tooth trouble goodbye with these expert tips

SUNDAY, Feb. 13, 2005 (HealthDay News) -- Great teeth and tip-top oral hygiene can make any Valentine's Day kiss even sweeter.

While Cupid supplies the romance, experts at the Academy of General Dentistry offer tips for a whole new love affair with healthy teeth and gums:

  • Brush and floss. Kissing couples can share up to 500 species of germs, including some that cause gum disease. You should brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes and floss once a day to eliminate bacteria that lurk between your teeth.
  • Pucker up. Kissing itself can actually help prevent tooth decay because it stimulates saliva, which helps reduce the incidence of cavities.
  • Have a chocolate (or two, or three). You don't need to worry too much about Valentine's chocolates when it comes to your teeth. Unlike hard or gummy candies, chocolate doesn't cling to your teeth and your saliva is able to wash the sugar away. But you still have to consume chocolate in moderation. Constantly eating chocolate will harm your teeth over time.
  • Whiten and brighten.Tooth whitening may be one way to impress your favorite person. You can contact your dentist to obtain a proper diagnosis and to learn about treatment options.

Great smiles attract other great smiles, the experts add. According to the AGD, people with noticeable dental neglect are 32 times more likely to have a partner with noticeable neglect. People without visible dental neglect are 5.4 times more likely to have a comparable partner.

More information

The American Dental Association has more about dental hygiene.

SOURCE: Academy of General Dentistry, news release, Feb. 2, 2005
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