Lemons and lemon juice is essentially citric acid and is highly acidic. Many people drink a glass of warm water with a squeeze of lemon juice every morning for its alkaline properties in the body. However over time, drinking lemon juice can put you at risk for tooth erosion, a condition where the thin protective layer of enamel slowly wears away from your teeth, leaving them vulnerable to sensitivity and tooth decay.
If you can’t go without your daily glass of lemon water, there are some ways to ward off impending dental erosion. Drinking through a straw will limit the liquid’s contact with your teeth. Drinking water frequently throughout the day will help wash away acid and prevent dry mouth, as saliva is needed to neutralize acid. Once you are done drinking lemon water, don’t brush your teeth immediately afterwards. It sounds odd, but the abrasive materials in toothpaste coupled with brushing action can further damage tooth enamel weakened by acid. Instead, try rinsing your mouth out with water, eat cheese or drink milk to neutralize the acid. Wait at least an hour before tooth brushing and chew sugar free gum which helps stimulate saliva production.
Lemons aren’t the only bad apples! Any acidic food or drink can contribute to enamel dental erosion, and you should be aware of how much acid you’re consuming on a daily basis. Some of the foods and beverages that cause enamel erosion include:
-Other fruit juices: orange, apple and grapefruit juice
-Coffee and Tea
Eat a well-balanced diet and visit your dentist regularly to check for signs of dental erosion. Once enamel is lost, it never grows back, so take the steps necessary to preserve your enamel for a lifetime of healthy, strong teeth.