My Girlfriend Has a Peanut Allergy. Do We Have to Worry About Kissing?
My girlfriend has a peanut allergy. I've heard stories about how people can die after being kissed by someone who just ate nuts. Do I have to worry about kissing her?
The stories you've heard do happen, but are very rare. If you take some simple precautions, you and your girlfriend can kiss with no problems.
A food that can cause a reaction in a person is called an allergen. Food allergens are found in a person's saliva (spit) right after eating. But the amount of allergens in the mouth goes down over time, and after a few hours they are all but gone. Experts advise brushing your teeth and waiting at least 4 hours before kissing someone if you think you ate a food that person may be allergic to.
If it's noon and you won't see your girlfriend until later that evening, it's OK to have a PB&J for lunch. Just be sure to brush your teeth using toothpaste before you see her (just as anyone wanting kiss-worthy breath would do).
If you and your girlfriend are going out for a meal together, choose what you eat carefully. Ask her for advice on what you can order that doesn't have peanut ingredients — or order the same thing she does — and you can kiss her goodnight with no problem.
*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.