Is Lemon Water Bad For Your Teeth?

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Medically reviewed by Danielle Romatz, RDH

Lemon water has many health benefits, including speeding up digestion and keeping you hydrated and refreshed. Research has also shown that it prevents oxidative cell damage and delivers a potassium boost with a dose of vitamin C, which is helpful in preventing kidney stones. However, despite the many health benefits of lemon water, it still poses a danger to your teeth.

Lemon water is many times more acidic than tap water. Over time, that acidity will cause your enamel to decay, which can lead to tooth sensitivity and discoloration. You can drink it in moderation though, and using a straw and rinsing with normal water after will help.

If you enjoy lemon water, all hope is not lost. There are a few things you can do to enjoy it without negatively affecting your teeth. The first remedy to prevent erosion of your enamel is to brush your teeth 30 minutes after drinking it. This allows your teeth to recover from the acidic impact of the liquid. Let’s look at a few more details helpful for understanding the impact of lemon water on your teeth.

Is Drinking Lemon Water Bad For Your Teeth?

Woman Drinking Fruit Water

Lemons are highly acidic, and, as explained above, lemon water is much more acidic than tap water. To avoid exposing your teeth to too much acid, you should consume lemon water in limited quantities.

Drinking plain water all the time instead of lemon water might sound boring if you’ve learned to crave a little hint of flavor with your water. But the impacts on your teeth might be worth rethinking a few details of how, and how often, you consume lemon water.

All that said, it’s not all bad news with lemon water. Lemon water, like lemon juice, is beneficial to your health. It replenishes your skin and may even freshen up your breath and help with weight loss.

It also reduces inflammation, aids digestion, boosts your immune system, serves as an excellent source of potassium, and cleanses your system.

The danger in drinking too much of it is the risk of enamel erosion, which leads to tooth sensitivity. This means that if you wish to prevent such health issues, you need to be cautious about the quantity you take. 

Why Is Lemon Water Bad For Your Teeth?

Lemon water, whether made from fresh squeezed fruit or from a powder concentrate like the TRUE LEMON Water Enhancer (on Amazon) is bad for the teeth because of the acid content of lemons. They contain citric acid, which has a highly acidic pH value, which changes the chemical environment in your mouth.

Lemon juice is 10,000 to 100,000 times more acidic than water. To better understand the acidity of a lemon: a battery, which contains sulphuric acid, has a pH of 1.0 while lemons have a pH of 2-3.

When you drink lemon water over long periods of time, it erodes the enamel covering your teeth. This exposes the underlying dentin, which may cause tooth sensitivity and coloration of your teeth.

How Can I Drink Lemon Water Without Hurting My Teeth?

Because of the danger inherent in drinking lemon water, people may avoid or shy away from drinking it at all. This doesn’t need to be the case. The first step to drinking lemon water without hurting your teeth is to use hot water instead of cold water. This helps to dissolve the acid.

It is also wise to avoid letting the lemon water come into direct contact with your teeth. Therefore, make sure to use a straw for the drink. You should also rinse your mouth with tap water afterward.

Don’t brush your teeth immediately after drinking lemon water. You should wait at least 30 minutes before brushing to let your teeth recover from exposure to the acid.

Another option is to minimize the acidity of the lemon juice. Dilute it with at least 250 ml of warm water and avoid letting the lemon water directly contact your teeth by using a straw.

Chewing sugar-free gum after drinking lemon water helps boost saliva production, which can be beneficial in neutralizing the acidity in your mouth.

After the 30 minutes needed to allow your mouth to reach its neutral PH, brush your teeth gently with a fluoridated toothpaste and soft toothbrush.

What Is A Healthy Daily Amount of Lemon Water?

Glass with lemonade and mint on rustic wood background

Dentists and doctors believe that lemon water offers positive health benefits when taken daily in the right proportion. Experts say that you should not use more than two lemons per day in any food, water, or other drinks.

It is most beneficial when taken first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. To go the extra mile, use warm water because it helps extract polyphenols and vitamin C, which can be found in lemon and its peel.

Experts agree that drinking lemon water every day in the correct amount can be very helpful to the kidney and liver, especially when taken with honey. This remedy can help to prevent kidney stones and constipation.

Drinking lemon every day in the right amount will supply your body system with the right amount of potassium, too.

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