Are lemons bad for your teeth?

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It is quite possible that you have heard before that lemons or other citrus fruits are bad for your teeth. And you may be wondering, could this be true? And if so, why? Many people love to enjoy their ice-cold water, with a wedge of lemon, as most of us have only heard wonderful things about the benefits. From digestion aid, nutritional benefits, immune system boosts, antioxidant activities, inflammation reduction, curbing of hunger cravings, breath freshening, toxin flushing, mucus reduction, alkalinity balance, anti-bacterial properties, to reduction in joint pain, there are a TON of benefits of adding some fresh lemon to your water…

But we do have a bit of bad news about lemons and your body as well… Unfortunately, lemons and limes have the highest acidity levels of all the fruit juices, being at PH levels of 2 to 2.6. Why does this matter? Well, the acid in these and other citrus fruits can damage your teeth by causing erosion of the enamel that is layered over them in order to protect them. Enamel is the strongest substance that exists within the human body, but it does fall subject to erosion over time via foods and drinks that are high in acidity levels. And it’s bad news when the enamel erodes, as this can lead to tooth sensitivity, proneness to cavities, yellowing of the teeth (staining), eventually even a hollow appearance, and overall you ending up having to spend a lot more money at your Irving dentist.

Let’s get to the good news… There are other ways than just avoiding lemons completely.  If you follow these tricks, you may still be able to continue drinking your daily dose of lemon water.

#1 Use a straw

Using a straw helps to direct the water (and acid in the water from the lemon) to the back of your mouth. This way, it is more likely that the acid will avoid your teeth.

#2 Rinse your mouth with plain water after drinking lemon water

Rinsing out your mouth with plain water after drinking lemon infused water can help to bring your saliva levels back to normal. Why does this help? Well, saliva consists of various minerals that help to neutralize the negative effects of the acidity on your teeth.

#3 Counteract with foods that neutralize acid

By eating foods that help neutralize acid, such as dairy, the minerals (i.e., calcium) in those foods can help counteract the negative effects of the acid by being absorbed into the weakened enamel of the teeth.

#4 Try your lemon water with xylitol

Xylitol is a sugar replacement that helps with alkalization and neutralization of acid in the mouth. You could try eating some sugar-free gum (made with xylitol) after enjoying your lemon water.

#5 Add a bit of baking soda to your lemon water

Baking water has been shown to reduce and neutralize acidity levels. Many people already use this trick in adding a bit (about a half teaspoon) of baking soda to their coffee to neutralize the acidity levels, but you can also incorporate it with your lemon water.

When it comes to dental health in Irving, here at Cosmetic and Family Dentistry, we’ve got you covered. Keep your teeth healthy by eating and drinking the right foods and fluids as well as by consistently visiting your dentist for a checkup. If you are looking for a trusted and caring dental practice, we will be just that for you. Contact us today and let us help to keep you and your family smiling.