If you’re looking for romance on Valentine’s Day, focus on your smile. When judging the allure of a potential date or partner, both men and women rate attractive teeth as the top turn-on, according to a surprising new survey of 5,500 unmarried Americans by Match.com.
On the most kissable of holidays, however, remember that’s there’s more to good oral health than a bright, white grin. More than half of adults have gum disease, which has been linked to increased risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. And 93 million Americans suffer from halitosis (chronically bad breath) which can sometimes signal other health problems.
Not only can taking great care of your pearly whites improve your looks—and breath—but it can even add years to your life, a recent study suggests. The researchers found that older people who failed to brush and floss daily, or hadn’t seen a dentist in the previous year were up to 50 percent more likely to die during the 17-year study than those with the opposite habits.
Ohio dentist Dr. Matt Messina, spokesperson for the American Dental Association, and other experts offer these tips for a healthy, dazzling and kissable mouth:
Get the information you need to improve your health and wellness on Healthline.com.
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