Wellness

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Two-word answers

Q:

Is eggnog bad for your teeth?

A:

Yes, typically. 

Eggnog is a delicious holiday staple for many people, but it usually contains high levels of sugar. One serving of traditional eggnog has roughly 20 grams of sugar, while the recommended daily limit is 37.5 grams for men and 25 grams for women. All that sugar can stick on teeth to create acids that cause tooth decay. Plus, eggnog is sometimes made with alcohol, which can decrease saliva flow and increase your risk for tooth decay.

To prevent eggnog from damaging your teeth, consider these mouth-friendly tips:

• Swap out your typical recipe for a sugar-free alternative.

• Alternate with glasses of water to help remove sugar from teeth.

• If you can’t resist, drink eggnog with a meal instead of as a stand-alone treat. The increased saliva flow from eating a meal will wash away some of the sugar.

• After indulging in eggnog, brush your teeth for two minutes or chew sugar-free gum if you aren’t able to brush right away.

• Choose a different delicious beverage to stay in the holiday spirit. Options include sugar-free hot chocolate and hot tea. Some variations, like green tea, may even contain antioxidants that benefit your gums.

With a couple of adjustments to your routine, you can enjoy this festive drink while keeping your teeth jolly all season long.

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