You may have seen celebrities and influencers share how they enjoy starting their day with a refreshing glass of lemon water, but why do they do this—and does lemon water damage teeth?
Why Drink Lemon Water in the Morning?
The Cleveland Clinic examined the potential benefits of lemon water, citing that the beverage may:
- Aid in digestion
- Help you stay hydrated
- Be a weight-loss friendly substitute for sugary beverages
- Prevent cell damage from oxidation
- Offer a dose of vitamin C
- Supply a potassium boost
- Help to prevent kidney stones
While lemon water may taste refreshing and offer some health benefits, the American Dental Association (ADA) lists lemon juice among the most acidic and erosive beverages for your teeth. Understanding more about how acidic liquids interact with the surfaces of your teeth can help you determine if lemon water is a good choice for you.
Oral Health Effects of Drinking Lemon Water
The ADA states that you should limit how often you eat or drink citrus or citrus-flavored products, as they have acidic effects on tooth enamel, ultimately wearing down the enamel to expose the softer layer of the tooth underneath. Tooth erosion is permanent and can cause yellow discoloration, a greater risk for cavities, and sensitivity when consuming cold or hot beverages. In extreme cases, it's possible to develop an abscess or lose a tooth due to extensive tooth erosion.
Along with lemon juice, soft drinks are also among the most acidic beverages, due to carbonation.
Tips for Maintaining Healthy Teeth
There are plenty of ways to enjoy citrus beverages such as lemon water, in moderation, while still prioritizing healthy teeth. Follow the ADA's tips for maintaining optimal oral health:
- Brush your teeth an hour after drinking an acidic beverage to allow your saliva to naturally wash away acid and re-harden enamel.
- Limit consumption of acidic beverages, and use a straw when you do treat yourself.
- Rinse your mouth with water or milk after consuming something acidic to neutralize acids.
- Chew sugarless gum to activate saliva.
- Use dental products with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
- Talk to your dentist if you are concerned about tooth erosion.
Another important step in your oral care routine is choosing an effective toothpaste. A natural toothpaste with fluoride can help to remineralize and strengthen tooth enamel.
Start Your Day Right
So, does lemon water damage teeth? The truth is: it is possible for acidic beverages to contribute to enamel erosion, but you can mitigate the risk by using a straw, limiting your consumption, and rinsing out your mouth afterward.
If you're worried about lemon water damaging your teeth, don't discount the power of drinking plain water. Not only is plain water nonerosive, it's also important to drink an adequate amount each day to maintain your health and avoid dehydration. The Mayo Clinic notes that women need 11.5 cups of water daily, on average, while men need 15.5 cups.
Check out other healthy morning beverages on the Naturally Delicious Drinks board by @tomsofmaine on Pinterest!
The views and opinions expressed in any guest post featured on our site are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of Tom's of Maine.
Why It's Good
It's possible to prioritize your oral health while still enjoying lemon water in the morning. Rinsing your mouth with plain water and choosing an ADA-approved toothpaste are two ways to make sure your smile stays bright and healthy.