January 7th, 2016
When it’s mixed with something, lemon is one of the most refreshing flavors out there. There’s nothing like sipping on a cold glass of lemonade under the sun, or drinking a cup of hot lemon water on a rainy morning. Unfortunately, your enamel doesn’t think lemon is as tasty as your tastebuds do. In fact, your teeth react to it pretty sourly. Though lemon juice can taste good and has some health benefits, it’s pretty bad for your teeth if it comes into contact with them. Let’s take a look at why now.
Why Is Lemon Juice Bad for Your Teeth?
Lemon juice is one of the most erosive ingredients out there. During a study comparing fruit juices and beverages published in the Journal of Endourology, lemon juice had the highest citric acid content of all the juices studied. Acids are your enamel’s biggest enemy. When you eat a lemon or drink lemon juice, the acids from the juice stick to your teeth and wear away your enamel. The acids also help feed bacteria to form plaque and tartar, which lead to cavities.
So What’s A Lemon Good For?
Just because lemons are bad for your teeth doesn’t mean you should avoid them forever. Lemons are very nutritious. Lemon juice contains pectin fibre, calcium and potassium, and is a great source of Vitamin C.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, Vitamin C is essential for the growth and repair of tissues throughout your body. It’s also an antioxidant. Antioxidants may help to fight off physical aging and health issues including cancer, arthritis and heart disease. Lemon juice also improves digestion, according to Global Healing Center.
How To Stop Your Teeth From Going Sour Because of Lemon Juice
Because we love your teeth so much, we recommend switching to regular water instead of a beverage with lemon juice for your everyday drink of choice. Lemon juice really can do severe damage to your teeth over time, and you can get the nutrients from someplace else!
If you continue to drink lemon juice regularly, you can easily limit the damage it does to your teeth. Here are just a few ideas!
Use a straw while drinking beverages with lemon juice. Try to make sure the liquid goes directly into your throat rather than sitting in your mouth. The goal is to keep it from coming into contact with your teeth.
If you do drink a beverage with lemon juice without using a straw, drink water too. The water should wash away some of the acids that are trying to stick onto your teeth.
Don’t brush your teeth right after you’re done drinking lemon juice. Since your enamel is weakened by the lemon’s acids, brushing can easily damage your teeth. Instead, wait about 30 minutes to an hour before brushing.
Immediately rinse out your mouth with water or mouthwash. Since you shouldn’t brush your teeth after consuming lemon juice, washing out your mouth is the next best thing. Swishing with water or mouthwash after you’re done will help to wash away the acids.
Visit a dentist to see if your lemon juice habits are affecting your teeth. This way, you’ll know whether you should stop. If lemon juice has already significantly damaged your teeth, we can help with Enamel Remineralization Treatment!
Got any more questions about lemon juice and your teeth? Contact Chicago’s number one general and cosmetic dentistry! We’d love to help you keep your teeth as healthy and strong as possible.