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2-word answers: Eggnog

Q:

Is eggnog bad for your teeth?

A:

It depends. 

For many, eggnog is a tradition as synonymous with winter as chilly temps. However, those prized family eggnog recipes may contain high levels of sugar, which can be harmful for your teeth.

Did you know one serving of traditional eggnog has roughly 20 grams of sugar? That may not sound like a lot, but the American Heart Association recommended daily limit is just 37.5 grams for men and 25 grams for women. All that sugar can stick to teeth to create acids that cause tooth decay. If you add alcohol to the mix, your mouth can become dry, making that sugar even stickier.

Don’t worry, this doesn’t have to mean swearing off eggnog for good. With these simple adjustments, you and your teeth can continue to enjoy an occasional glass:

• Swap out your typical recipe for a sugar- and alcohol-free alternative. Try boosting flavor with spices like nutmeg, cloves or ginger!

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

• Enjoy eggnog with a meal instead of as a stand-alone treat. Eating helps wash away the sugar. 

• After indulging in eggnog, brush your teeth for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste, or chew sugar-free gum if you’re unable to brush.

You could also try a different winter beverage. Consider infusing hot tea with cinnamon sticks. Certain types, like green tea, may even contain antioxidants that benefit gums!

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