Is Drinking Lemon Water Bad For Your Teeth?

There are only a few points doctors and dentists don’t see eye to eye on. Is one of those a tall glass of lemon water? Maybe you’ve heard it touted by your own doctor. Adding a slice of lemon to your water promises numerous health benefits, and a playful splash of flavor that makes some people more likely to drink water in the first place. However, a dentist will tell you that the best thing for your teeth is a plain glass of water. By adding lemon you’re only adding harsh acids that can harm the enamel of your teeth. So who’s right?

The Benefits Of Lemon Watertooth enamel erosion, dental houston

Understanding why doctors recommend drinking lemon water can help you make the decision that is best for you. You’d be surprised by a few of the benefits a simple glass of lemon water claims.

  • Lemon juice is packed with Vitamin C. 90 milligrams of Vitamin C each day is recommended by the North American Dietary Reference Intake to achieve optimal health. The juice of an entire lemon contains about half this amount. The vitamin helps ward of conditions like scurvy and protect against all sorts of contagious illnesses. A low dosage of Vitamin C has been linked to a higher risk of cancer, heart disease and cataracts. While it is possible to receive the recommended amount through other natural sources most, like lemons, are acidic foods.

  • Lemon contains a large amount of antioxidants. These antioxidants can serve many different purposes. They can help clear your skin of blemishes, freshen your breath and flush out any toxins your body may be harboring.

  • Lemon helps you to produce more bile. While that might sound disgusting, bile makes digesting foods, especially fats, easier. It can also help relieve things like bloating and heartburn.

  • Lemon water can act as a replacement for drinks high in caffeine. You might not believe it at first, but a start the next few days with a cup of warm water and lemon and see how you feel.

Lemon Water And Your Teeth

So what’s the downside to a glass of lemon water? Were you to speak to a dentist about it they’d most likely advise you stick to a regular glass of water sans lemon. Why? The main reason a dentist is likely to discourage you from making lemon water a staple is the fruit’s high level of acidity. Lemon’s have high levels of citric acid. Citric acid does not do the enamel on your teeth any favors. Instead it joins together with the calcium of your teeth forming calcium citrate, that can cause erosion of your enamel. Enamel is necessary to the protection of your teeth. It’s what keeps you from feeling uncomfortable when you bite into a popsicle or have a hot bowl of soup. Strong enamel also helps prevent the formation of cavities and tooth decay. Is a glass of lemon water really putting all of that at risk?

Yes and no. Let’s say you squeeze half a lemon into a glass of water. With that ratio the lemon juice is highly diluted and a lot less likely to cause a serious problem. What is most likely to be damaging is to have any of the acid contained in the water sit on your teeth. You can prevent this by sipping the water through a straw so it makes less direct contact with your teeth. You can also swig a small amount of regular water after your lemon water to help neutralize your mouth and teeth.

Call Dr. Bosse of Greenspoint Dental today and schedule an appointment.