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glass of water with sliced lemons in it with a sliced lemon sitting next to it

Is Lemon Water Bad For Your Teeth? Benefits & Effects on Tooth Enamel

January 23, 2019

There’s nothing better than a tall glass of water when you’re parched. Adding a slice of lemon can make it an even more inviting beverage to sip. A little flavoring in our water often makes it tastier. But, have you ever stopped to wonder about the impact of lemon juice on your enamel?

Lemon juice, like many fruit juices, is acidic. This means when we drink it, it can cause enamel erosion on our teeth. In fact, the tart substance has a pH level of 2-3, putting it firmly in the realm of acidic drinks. Liquids with a pH level under four have been proven to negatively impact our oral health.

While conventional wisdom would lead you to believe that quickly brushing your pearly whites after sipping on some fruity water will alleviate any lasting impact, it can actually make the situation worse!

Once your enamel has been weakened by acidic substances, it needs time to recover. This means you have to wait at least 30 minutes after consuming acidic items in order to prevent brushing your enamel away accidentally. Without healthy and strong enamel protecting your teeth, they’re more susceptible to decay caused by dental caries, or cavities.

Still want your lemon water without damaging your enamel? Here are a few suggestions:

LIMIT THE AMOUNT YOU DRINK

Instead of making lemon in your water a standard practice, make it more of a special occasion. The less regular exposure to acid, the stronger your teeth will remain.

USE A STRAW

Straws are taking a lot of heat due to their throwaway nature and lack of recyclability. But, using a straw can help make sure your lemon water goes down with minimal contact with your teeth. Consider investing in your own alternative sipping utensil, so you can protect your teeth and the environment.

RINSE YOUR MOUTH WITH WATER

A glass of regular water is probably not the first thing you’d reach for after a glass of lemon water, but you should. It washes away the acid that’s left hanging onto your teeth. Water cleanses the mouth and stimulates salivation, which is good for protecting your teeth.

BRUSH AND FLOSS REGULARLY

The best way to keep unwanted oral detritus from turning into an issue is to make sure you routinely brush your teeth twice a day and floss once per day. This will ensure that there’s no plaque or other debris left to cause problems. Just make sure to give your teeth at least 30 minutes to recover after drinking sodas, fruit juices, and any other acidic beverages.