There’s nothing better than a tall glass of water when you’re thirsty. 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, helping us stay hydrated. But, have you ever stopped to wonder how lemon water affects your tooth enamel?
Lemon juice, like many fruit juices, is acidic. This means when we drink it, it can cause damage to our tooth enamel. In fact, lemon juice 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 affect our oral health.
While conventional wisdom would lead you to believe that quickly brushing your teeth after sipping on some fruity water will alleviate any lasting effects, it can actually make the situation worse!
Once your enamel has been weakened by acidity, it needs time to recover. This means you must wait at least 30 minutes after consuming acidic items to prevent accidentally brushing your enamel away. Without healthy and strong enamel protecting your teeth, they’re more susceptible to cavities.
Can’t give up your lemon water? Here are some suggestions to help protect your teeth:
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 reusable straw, 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 saliva, which is good for protecting your teeth.
Brush and floss regularly
One of the best ways to avoid a serious oral health issue is to 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 you give your teeth at least 30 minutes to recover after drinking sodas, fruit juices, and any other acidic beverages.
Learn more about having a healthy mouth on our blog! | Need to find a dentist? Use our handy search tool.