There's nothing more unsettling than watching your grandkid "dig for gold," as they say, and pop it in his or her mouth just seconds later. Being a parent and a grandparent is hard work, and we constantly have to remind our kiddos that it's not only impolite to pick your nose in public but also unsanitary and unhygienic. Well, according to scientists, we've been doing our kids a disservice. Yes, really—but wait, hear us out!
Being a parent and a [grandparent is hard work], and we constantly have to remind our kiddos that it's not only impolite to pick your nose in public but also unsanitary and unhygienic.
What was once taboo to discuss in public is today the topic of research for environmental microbiologists. Apparently that gooey nose gunk we tell every man, dog, and child with a runny nose to steer clear of is actually good for you.
And that’s not just because fluids like snot and tears serve as our body’s first line of defense against myriad disease; snot, in particular, is beneficial for your—wait for it—dental health.
According to a medical study published in Applied And Environmental Microbiology, salivary mucins (proteins found in mucus) work to protect teeth from a cavity-causing bacteria.
Differentiating from things like toothpaste and mouthwash that, as reported by Ozy.com, kill bacteria, mucus stops bacteria from attaching itself to a tooth, as well as preventing the bacteria from leaking acid onto a tooth’s enamel.
The positive health benefits of mucus for oral health has also prompted these researchers to begin working on a synthetic mucus, with the idea that it could be combined with toothpaste or chewing gum.
No matter what the research says, we're not quite sure how we feel about this health update. While you might be dead-set against picking your nose—and we're definitely right there with you—maybe you won't be so quick to scold the grandchildren.
Whatever side you fall on this issue, we bet this is going to start a big debate among parents and grandparents.
This post was written by Ellie McDonald. For more, check out our sister site Now to Love.