Lemon water vs dental health

It’s proclaimed by health experts and wellness guru’s worldwide that drinking warm water and freshly squeezed lemon first thing in the morning is really great for your overall health.

By drinking lemon water upon waking, you help kick-start your digestive system and flush out toxins that have built up in your system overnight. By detoxifying your system from the inside out you can give yourself the best chance of better energy, improved digestion and clearer skin - some say it can even help with weight loss.

However, have you ever thought about the fact that lemon water can damage your teeth?

Lemon water can cause tooth erosion

Lemons are naturally acidic and when acids come into contact with your teeth, they cause erosion of the tooth. Erosion is the loss of tooth enamel and when tooth enamel is worn away by acids or by abrasion - such as brushing too hard - it can cause sensitivity by exposing the underlying dentin below the enamel surface. The underlying dentin is yellower than the white surface of enamel, so as the acid erodes teeth over time and enamel becomes thinner, teeth can begin to look yellowed due to the exposed dentin.

It’s not just lemons that can cause your tooth enamel to erode either, many other acidic foods and drinks also have the same effect such as sugar-laden products and fizzy pop.

Can enamel be restored?

Tooth enamel can’t heal itself or grow back however, if you suspect that you may have tooth erosion, it’s important to see your dentist as soon as possible so they can help work out a treatment plan to prevent further erosion damage and preserve your smile.

What can I do to prevent enamel erosion? Can I still drink lemon water?

There are a number of things you can easily do to help preserve your enamel and prevent tooth erosion.

First of all, you can simply use a straw to help the lemon water (or other acidic drinks) to bypass your teeth and keep them healthy and strong.

Secondly, you can ensure that you dilute your acidic drinks to lessen the acidity. It will also help to drink plain water straight after drinking lemon water, or other acidic drinks to help flush away the acids.

Always use a soft toothbrush to prevent enamel wear and fluoride toothpaste as the fluoride helps to strengthen enamel.

Lastly, DO NOT brush your teeth for at least 30 minutes after drinking lemon water or other acidic food or drink as brushing your teeth quickly after can actually accelerate the process and increase the chance of enamel erosion.

If you would like to find out more about acids and teeth you ask our friendly team or if you would like to book an appointment with one of our dentists you can do so here.