Pucker up! It turns out kissing is good for you in more ways than you might think.

Most people know that kissing comes with loads of mental and physical benefits that make getting your smooch on totally worth it. From inducing an increase in happy hormones, including oxytocin, dopamine, serotonin, and a reduction in stress-causing cortisol, kissing is a great way to feel better — mentally, emotionally and even physically!

But science has even more to say about the benefits of a kiss. It turns out kissing can also help prevent cavities. No, really. It’s true.

It may not be as effective as flossing and brushing on a regular basis, but kissing increases the flow of saliva, which then helps prevent tooth decay.

Kissing is nature's natural cleansing process. According to a study published by the Academy of General Dentistry, kissing stimulates saliva, which washes out the mouth and helps remove the cavity-causing food particles that accumulate after eating. Saliva's mineral ions have been shown to even promote repair of small imperfections in tooth enamel.

Of course, more than a good-night kiss is needed to fully protect teeth. Besides, slacking on good oral hygiene would probably lead to fewer kisses anyway. So, keep up the daily dental hygiene regimen. And always brush and floss before going to bed, since sleep slows the production of saliva.

No one to kiss? We don’t recommend grabbing a stranger and laying one on. You can get saliva flowing in other ways like chewing gum, too (sugarless, of course).