9 Crazy Ways Kissing Can Improve Your Health and Change Your Life
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Kissing is one of the best universal ways to express affection to your significant other. Kissing is an art, that comes naturally, not science…or at least this is what some would like to think. Science, on the other hand, begs to differ. According to various researchers, kissing is a learned behavior, which might even originate in the womb.
Regardless of its origins, there’s no denying that a great kiss can help you in more ways than one, from extending your lifespan to lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. Curious to know how locking lips can change your life? Then read on to find out!
Kissing can boost your immune system
Based on data provided by the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, you can swap no more, no less than 80 million bacteria during a 10-second kiss with your significant other. If you think tons of mouthwash might be helpful in getting rid of those germs, don’t head to the nearest Walmart just yet.
You should know that bacteria is not always bad. In fact, it can provide various health benefits, among which boosting your immune system. “Swapping spit means swapping germs, and that is nature’s natural form of vaccination,” Dr. Yael Varnado, founder of Get Checked 4 Life (a nonprofit organization that helps at-risk communities). Exposure to other types of bacteria, other than your own, can help your body produce antibodies, making your immune system stronger and less exposed to illnesses.
Kissing can improve your dental health
It might sound strange, but the more you kiss the fewer cavities you will have. Why? Well, according to Dr. Sivan Finkel, aesthetic and general dentistry specialist at the Dental Parlour in New York City, “kissing stimulates our salivary glands, and saliva helps buffer the acidity of the oral environment”. Tooth enamel is usually affected by the foods and drinks you eat but its smaller lesions can be repaired by the mineral ions in the saliva.
However, just because kissing can prevent and help with enamel erosion, it doesn’t mean you can kiss just about anyone, especially people who don’t have a friendly relationship with the toothbrush or dental floss. “The double-edged sword [is that] harmful, cavity-causing bacteria are also transferred via kissing, as are some of the bacteria responsible for gum disease,” Dr. Finkel warned. The best indication of poor oral hygiene is bad breath, so stay away from people who smell like a walking stank house.
Kissing causes a feel-good reaction in your brain
One of the most important health benefits of kissing is that the love and feel-good chemicals oxytocin and dopamine are released in the brain, making you feel all giddy and happy. According to Kaity Rodriguez, a licensed clinical social worker based in New Jersey, oxytocin, also known as “the cuddle” hormone, is also released “when mothers nurse their babies, during sex, and even cuddling”, creating a more intimate connection between people.
Dopamine plays a key part in how you perceive pleasure and reward, making you want a repeat. It boosts mood, regulates sleep, overall behavior and can help you make decisions and boost your creativity.
Kissing can extend men’s lifespan and increase their paychecks
Kissing is not only good for a person’s immune system and dental health. Science says it can even extend someone’s life by a few important years. By someone, I mean men. Sorry, ladies!
As it turns out, men who kiss their wives or girlfriends in the morning can extend their lifespan by an average of five years, compared to men who don’t lock lips with their significant others, according to a group of German physicians and psychologists led by Dr. Arthur Szabo. More than that, the German researchers discovered that receive their daily morning kisses take less sick days, are at a lower risk of car accidents on their way to work and make 20-30 percent more money than their less kissed counterparts. Gentlemen, you’d better start smooching in the morning if you know what’s best for you!