Is lemon water bad for my teeth?
Why drink lemon water?
Many people the world over drink lemon water first thing in the morning, either hot or cold. They believe it will help them with their digestive system, as they think the lemon bits in the water will trick the stomach into action. This leads them to think that it will also aid in weight loss, as the stomach starts to produce enzymes that metabolise food.
Eating or sucking on a lemon slice is common too, as, despite the incredibly sour taste, it is said to stop bad breath. But do we really know the damage we’re doing to our teeth by following these home remedies?
Why is lemon water bad for you?
Lemons are a highly acidic fruit, so they are incredibly bad for our teeth. Lemon juice is essentially just citric acid, so it’s not surprising it’s highly acidic.
This acid erodes the enamel of the teeth, even if it is mixed with water. Enamel erosion can lead to sensitivity in your teeth, as when the enamel is eroded it exposes the underlying dentin and nerves. Dentin and nerves are extremely sensitive.
This erosion of the enamel can also cause your teeth to appear yellower, as the dentin under the enamel is yellow.
If you drink your lemon with hot water, this could lead to worse effects. The temperature of the water can speed up the erosion, as the rate of chemical reactions increases with temperature.
How to minimise the damage
Minimise the risk of damage from lemon juice by drinking your lemon water with a straw, so the fluid bypasses the teeth.
Once you have finished your drink, rinse your mouth with water to remove any acid that remains in your mouth. Do not be tempted to brush your teeth, as the acid from the lemon will have made the enamel softer, so it will be more prone to erosion by your toothbrush.
If you’re in doubt about the health of your teeth or you are worried about enamel erosion, why not come in for a consultation. We can recommend treatments to protect your remaining tooth structure, and we also offer cosmetic dentistry procedures.