malmin orthodontics blog

Is Hot Water With Lemon Bad For My Teeth?

It’s quite common knowledge that lemons are acidic and if you enjoy drinking hot water mixed with lemon or even just chewing and sucking on raw lemons they do it seems benefit the digestive system by stimulating digestive enzymes and perhaps even assisting with weight loss. Overall your digestive system may benefit, but not the enamel of your teeth. Attacks from acid can slowly erode your teeth’s protective layer.

As the enamel becomes more and more eroded it starts to expose the dentin underneath. This is a yellowy colour and generally as you age, even if you don’t chew lemons or drink lemon with hot water regularly, your teeth will eventually wear away showing this yellowy appearance.  If you do drink lemon with hot water the acidic reaction is greater, thus accelerating the erosive effects of it on your teeth and making your teeth look older than they really are. It can reduce the effect a little if you mix the lemon with warm water rather than hot.

Using a straw may help to reduce the effects of lemon juice

Straws weren’t invented as a health device but increasingly they have been acknowledged as a means of bypassing your teeth when you drink. This as a result reduces the effects of acid and sugary substances that occur in high amounts in soft drinks as well as the amounts found in lemon mixed with hot water. The liquid gets sucked straight into your throat giving it little time to rest on your teeth.

Other Ways to prevent the effects of acid on your teeth

If you don’t like the straw idea but you never intend on giving up drinking lemon and hot water you should consider rinsing your mouth immediately after you have consumed this favoured drink. This washes away any residual acid that’s still sitting on your teeth’s surface and reduces the acid levels in your saliva. Another option open to you is the chewing of sugarless gum following the consuming of lemon and water.

Gum chewing in recent years has shown it helps in the development of more saliva, which neutralises the acid levels in your mouth. When it comes around to the time of day to brush your teeth use a soft toothbrush with fluoridated toothpaste as fluoride is a known toothpaste ingredient that toughens up your enamel. What you shouldn’t do when brushing is to be aggressive with the way you brush with your toothbrush as this could do further damage to your already softened enamel.

What your dentist can do about enamel erosion

Your dentist at Malmin Dental does have some treatment options for enamel erosion if it’s gone so far that there are few preventive measures left for you do. It may be possible to undertake tooth bonding as this can help to protect the teeth from further damage and can also conceal the yellowy appearance of the dentine. If a lot of the enamel has been lost the dentist may suggest using a veneer or crown to help prevent further damage and improve the teeth’s appearance.

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