10 kissing tips to protect your oral health

It’s important to take a moment this festive season to first consider a few key issues when it comes to your oral health. For most of us, kissing is a lovely way to connect with others and, for all sorts of reasons, is good for us. ¹Passionate kissing especially can have many health benefits in boosting the immune system through exposure to more germs. ² Kissing helps to produce more saliva and neutralise acids which cause tooth decay, but sharing saliva and bacteria can’t always be thought of as a health promotion strategy.

Some facts to consider

Most of us don’t have a detailed history of each other’s oral health and prefer to keep the specifics between ourselves and our dentist. At the risk of stating the obvious, kissing which involves someone else’s mouth, tongue and saliva is the perfect way to transmit germs which can lead to illness and disease. It’s not always clear if someone has oral health issues or is sick, which can make it easier to decide not to get too close and personal. But bacteria and viruses are tiny and may only be seen under a microscope. Gingivitis, periodontal disease and cavities are all caused by bacteria which are all easily transmitted from person to person.

Understanding what’s going on in our mouth requires a high degree of expertise and skill, which is why booking regular appointments with your dentist is so important.

What are the risks of kissing?

Of course, there’s many different types of kissing, but the kind which carries the most risks is where there’s direct contact with each other’s mouth. Kissing on the cheek or forehead isn’t so concerning, it’s ‘contact’ kissing from person to person and droplet infections which boosts exposure to germs. Contagious bacteria and viruses which cause illnesses like the common cold, influenza, herpes virus or even some types of mouth warts can all be shared through kissing.

10 kissing tips

  1. Be careful who you kiss and if possible, be confident that their oral health habits are sound.
  2. Try not to kiss people on the mouth who you don’t know well.
  3. Avoid kissing people who are obviously unwell.
  4. Avoid kissing someone with bad breath. This is often a sign of poor oral health and the bacteria which cause tooth decay and gum disease are highly contagious.
  5. Don’t share cutlery with other people.
  6. Avoid biting into and sharing the same food with someone else.
  7. Don’t kiss babies directly on the mouth or blowing on their food to cool it down.
  8. Aim to stay well yourself. Healthy saliva contains substances which help to fight bacteria, viruses and fungal infections and can be worth sharing!
  9. Brush your teeth twice each day with a soft toothbrush and use fluoridated toothpaste. Floss daily and use interdental brushes to get in between the spaces where your toothbrush can’t reach.
  10. Have regular appointments with your dentist for cleaning and examinations. Book an appointment




  1. Kissing and your health – Better Health Channel
  2. The Risks and Benefits of Kissing on Oral Health | Colgate®

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