Does Lemon Water Ruin Your Teeth?

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS,
September 29, 2011

lemon water
Q. I'm in the habit of sipping on water with a slice of lemon throughout the day. Could the acid in the lemon be damaging my teeth?

A. Undiluted lemon juice is definitely acidic enough to wear away the enamel on your teeth. A slice of lemon in a glass of water is much less likely to cause a problem. Then again, even diluted lemon juice could potentially affect your teeth if you are sipping on it all day long. Drinking through a straw can help minimize contact of the liquid with your teeth. Chewing a piece of sugarless gum will help remove acidic residue from your teeth.  Or, many people find water with a slice of fresh cucumber refreshing.

But what ever you do, don't brush your teeth immediately after drinking wine, lemon juice, or other acidic liquids. The combination of the acid and the mild abrasives in the toothpaste can really do a number on the enamel. If you've been drinking acidic liquids, swish your mouth out with fresh water before brushing and use a soft-bristled brush and a non-abrasive toothpaste.

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