You might order your water at lunch with a bright yellow lemon wedge – many people do. Perhaps you squeeze a bit of lemon into hot water on a cold day. Maybe you make yourself a lemon water to start your day. These all look like harmless, and even healthy habits, but the truth is that lemon water can have a surprising effect on your pearly whites.
You may know that sugary fruit juices and carbonated sodas aren’t dentist-recommended, but some seemingly safe beverages can be even worse. So today we’re answering the question: “Is lemon water bad for my teeth?”
Elements of Erosion: Enamel is the thin outer covering of the tooth and is the hardest tissue in the human body. Your enamel is your tooth’s first, and strongest, defense against debris, bacteria, trauma, and other damage. However, enamel isn’t impenetrable and tooth erosion happens when acids wear away enamel on teeth.
Any sort of exposure to acid in your mouth can put your enamel at risk. While fresh fruit juices may seem healthy and natural, they can endanger your enamel.
A Lesson in Lemons: As a citrus, lemon is one of the worst culprits when it comes to acid. Among fruits, citric acid is most concentrated in lemons and limes. The same component that gives this fruit its distinctive sour flavor could also be damaging your enamel. In short, while it may be tasty, and may have other health benefits, lemon is no friend to your teeth.
Our Lemon Water Tips: Lemon water, of course, is not as detrimental to your enamel as pure lemon juice, but it still unnecessarily exposes your teeth to acid. Based on this data, our number one recommendation is to cut down your lemon water consumption.
Sipping your tangy beverage through a straw may also help limit enamel exposure. We also advise you to drink lemon water with food and swish with regular water after drinking it.
Although you may be tempted to clean your teeth right away after drinking lemon water, now that you know its effects, don’t. The acid can weaken your enamel, and brushing immediately after this effect could actually hurt your teeth more.