Will Lemonade & Other Citrus Drinks Erode Teeth?

citrus drinks in jars with straws can harm teeth

In addition to regular brushing and flossing, your diet is an integral part of your oral health. While you probably know that sugary sodas can damage teeth and make you more susceptible to cavities, sodas aren’t the only beverages that can erode your teeth. Today, we want to talk about the impact that citrusy drinks like orange juice or lemonade can have on your pearly whites.

How Does Citrus Impact Teeth?

While citrus has plenty of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are good for health, it can also damage your teeth. How can something be healthy for your body but potentially damaging for your teeth? Well, citrus is also high in citric acid, one of the enemies of healthy teeth.

How Does Acid Damage Teeth?

At any given moment, your mouth is full of bacteria. Some bacteria are beneficial — they break down food as you chew and kick-start your digestive process. Other bacteria are harmful because they break down sugars and starches and produce acid as a by-product. Acid wears away on your tooth enamel and can lead to cavities and other oral health problems as a result. When you consume additional acid (citric acid, for example) on top of the acid your body already produces, you can speed up enamel erosion.

Without proper oral hygiene, acid can mix with bacteria to form bacterial plaque. This substance sticks to teeth, erodes enamel, and can harden into tartar if left untreated. Not only does bacterial plaque lead to more cavities, it can irritate gums and cause the early stages of gum disease.

How Can You Limit the Impact of Citric Acid on Teeth?

Practice good oral hygiene routine at home to limit the impact of citric acid on your teeth. Additionally, visit our office regularly for professional cleanings and dental exams. To ask our team any questions about the impact of citrus on your oral health or to schedule your next visit, call us today!

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