Spring is almost upon us here in the Kansas City area, and that means warmer weather and more opportunities to get outside and enjoy plenty of outdoor activities. Of course, if you’re going to be out in the heat, your Overland Park dentist would like to remind you that it becomes even more important to hydrate properly. That means avoiding a lot of sugary sports drinks or sodas, which are bad for your teeth anyway! In fact, there’s nothing more hydrating for your body than plain old water, so make sure that you take a water bottle (or two or three) with you whenever you are headed out to the park or the baseball field this spring and summer.
Of course, drinking plain water all the time can get a little dull, so some people like to flavor drinking water by adding a few slices of lemon or some lemon juice. The good news is lemon juice is actually great for your health. It aids digestion, gives you vitamin C and potassium, and even boosts your immune system and benefits liver function. In fact, lemon juice is good for the skin, can help freshen your breath, and is even helpful for weight loss!
Now for the bad news: The acid in lemon juice can damage the enamel of your teeth. Enamel is the protective covering that defends your teeth against all sorts of things. When it becomes eroded, it can leave your teeth at risk for cavities and other damage. Weakened enamel is also a leading cause of tooth sensitivity. Fortunately, enamel is one of the most durable substances in the body, and it takes a lot to damage it. While lemon juice has an extremely high acid content—higher than soda, wine, coffee, tea, or even vinegar—you’d need to consume high concentrations of lemon juice over a prolonged period of time to do much damage to your enamel.
Chances are you’re not drinking a lot of straight lemon juice. If you want to enjoy the health benefits of adding lemon to your water, just remember to add it in moderation. A good rule of thumb when preparing a 32-ounce bottle of lemon water is to add only the equivalent of about half a lemon. That should be plenty of lemon juice for a single day. If you want to spread that out across several bottles, simply add less lemon to each bottle.
If you already have sensitive teeth, it might be a good idea to go really easy on any highly acidic drinks anyway, even water containing a little bit of lemon. It’s also a good idea to see your friendly neighborhood Overland Park dentist, who can not only help treat the symptoms and causes of sensitive teeth, but who can also recommend dentist-approved drinks that will quench your thirst while also keeping you hydrated. Again, when in doubt, it’s tough to beat good old water.
So while you’re packing up drinks for a trip to the park this spring, think about your Overland Park dentist. And while you’re at it, why not schedule a spring tooth cleaning by calling (913) 338-3384 today?