The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and you’re taking it all in with a nice glass of lemon water in your hand.
Not only are you hydrated, you’re reaping the benefits of the addition to your water. Life is good.
So why is your dentist telling you that your favourite drink isn’t as healthy as you think?
What are the negative side effects of lemon water?
While there are plenty of benefits, there is one part of lemon water that can damage your teeth: acid.
It isn’t just lemons that you have to be wary of. All citrus fruits can damage your teeth because of the high amounts of citric acid. It quickly picks away at the enamel on your teeth, leaving them open to increased sensitivity to hot and cold foods, discolouration, and in some cases teeth thinning.
Since you can’t regrow enamel, it is important that you take care of your teeth (and the work that you’ve had done on them) to the best of your ability. Lemon juice can be harmful to your crowns and fillings as it breaks down the bonding that blocks out the bacteria. This means that you’ll need to replace the fillings and crowns in 2-3 years instead of 8-10.
Does this mean that I shouldn’t drink lemon water anymore?
Like all of the good things in life, you can enjoy your favourite drink in moderation.
After you drink a glass of cold (or even warm/hot) lemon water, do not brush right away. Doing so will rub the acids into your teeth, making the damage worse.
Instead, what you want to do is vigorously swish plain warm water in your mouth immediately after drinking anything containing lemon juice. After this, wait 30 minutes for any remaining acids to neutralize, then brush and floss, followed by one last rinse with water. This won’t completely prevent destruction from the acids, but it will help to minimize the problem.
Despite the damage that it may cause to your teeth, there are many health benefits that come with drinking a glass of lemon water, including:
- Boosting your immune system
- Providing potassium
- Helping with digestion and weight loss
- Freshening your breath
- Keeping your skin blemish free
If you want help figuring out the best way to protect your teeth, Dr. Andrea Stevens will be able to answer all of your questions and provide you with the best advice.