Monday, July 6th is known as International Kissing Day in the UK, but because it has been adopted throughout the rest of world, it is known as National Kissing Day. This day is intended for people to appreciate the kiss, whether it is the quick peck in the morning, a kiss goodbye, the first kiss as a married couple, and everything in between.
While most people think that kissing is just a sweet way to show some affection or a prelude to much more, there are some great health benefits associated with kissing.
1. Healthy Teeth
Have you ever wondered why a kiss is called “a wet one?” When you are kissing someone, your mouth kicks the saliva production into gear. According to Mathew Messina, D.D.S, this saliva removes harmful bacteria from your teeth and it also helps to reduce the buildup of plaque on your chompers.
2. Bye-Bye Calories
Although kissing won’t burn as many calories as running a marathon, you can be pleased to know that if you’re in an intense lip-lock with your honey, you can expect to burn between two and six calories every minute. Let’s not forget that you’re giving the muscles in your face a workout too. So if you don’t want those lines around your mouth or saggy cheeks, better pucker up!
3. Immunity Boost
It’s no secret that you are exchanging some germs with whomever you doing the tongue tango with. Did you know that if you are pregnant, you could catch a germ that is harmful to you? Fortunately, kissing is one way that you can be introduced to the virus in small amounts and when you do get pregnant, your body will have built up an immunity to that virus.
But, just to be on the safe side, if your kissing buddy looks sick, pass on that smooch. You don’t want to catch mono (aka the kissing disease), strep throat, herpes, and a slew of other gross illnesses.
4. Bye-Bye Stress
Who needs a stress ball when you have someone that you can lock lips with? You know that relaxed feeling you have after you’ve had an especially good kiss? There was a small study back in 2009 which revealed that after college students kissed, the bonding hormone called oxytocin and the stress hormone called cortisol were monitored. The level of cortisol went down in both men and women, which is considered a sign of relaxation.
5. Allergy Relief
During allergy season, you will usually see people with a handful of tissues, allergy medicine, and eye drops. Thankfully, since allergy symptoms aren’t contagious, you can still kiss! A small study in Japan revealed that when couples would kiss for 30 minutes, they had a lower amount of allergen-specific IgE, which are proteins that cause symptoms like sneezing a drippy noses.
So this July 6th, get your health in check by puckering up with your special someone. If you don’t have a regular pucker partner, and fear you may not have one by the end of the day, you can always try a dating site in order to find someone whose lips look especially smoochable.