A recent article in Dentistry IQ reveals that 10 seconds intimate kissing can transfer as many as 8 million bacteria and an unknown number of viruses from one mouth to another. Often in the dental office we are emphasizing the need for good oral care for promoting your own oral health, but this demonstrates how our own oral care affects others. This is where a good antimicrobial rinse, like Listerine for instance, makes a huge difference. It helps to reduce the bacterial population in your mouth on surfaces such as the cheeks, attached gingiva, under the tongue, and other areas that aren’t accessed with the toothbrush or floss. It also helps to scrape or brush the tongue to remove build up prior to rinsing so that the rinse can be more effective at killing bacteria. Also, if you are sick dispose of your toothbrush once you are on the mend so that you don’t reintroduce those same bacteria into your mouth. Finally, when you are ill be kind to those you love and save their kiss for after you recover.