How to enjoy lemon without damaging your enamel

Protect Tooth Enamel Long Jetty, Central Coast

So many of my patients drink lemon water every morning. It helps with digestion, ups vitamin C intake, and makes you feel fresh – so who wouldn’t want to start the day that way? But all that acid can be rough on tooth enamel. You don’t have to give up your lemon water or your strong teeth if you make a few adjustments.

  • Use cold water. Warm water is a better solvent, so the acids in a hot lemon water drink are more available to the enamel. Cold lemon water gets the acids to your system, and spares your teeth.
  • Reduce the strength of your glass. Half lemon juice and half water in a shot glass may be bracing, but a taller glass with more water dilutes the citric acid and is just as refreshing. It also delivers the health benefits just as well.
  • Use a straw! Do this for all fruit juices and sodas, because it sends the juice to the back of your mouth, away from your teeth. It ups the fun quotient of your morning drink, too.
  • As soon as you finish that refreshing drink, rinse your mouth with tap water. This normalises your saliva, which helps to remineralise your enamel.
  • Wait an hour before you brush your teeth. Acids actually soften the enamel, and brushing softened enamel can damage it.
  • Consider switching from lemon juice to a couple of drops of lemon essential oil instead.

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