At SHDC, we are often asked by patients if drinking warm water with lemon or apple cider vinegar will erode the teeth in the long term… in short, not a bad idea, but be careful.
It is our belief that a mild acid like diluted apple cider vinegar or diluted lemon juice (both great for the gut biome) can be a good thing to incorporate into your morning routine… and the key word here is ‘diluted’.
When we drink warm lemon water, a message is sent to the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine), releasing secretin (a hormone) and preparing the stomach for digestion. It is best to drink this 20 minutes before eating, so this process has enough time to work efficiently, and the stomach acid is activated to prepare for the breakdown of food. In addition to preparing the digestive system benefits of warm lemon water include:
While warm lemon water has all of these amazing benefits, it can also lead to more alkaline saliva. Due to high alkaline mineral content, lemons can essentially balance body pH, leading to more alkaline saliva. More alkaline saliva means less erosion in the long term.
From a dental perspective, just a squeeze of lemon juice in a 250ml glass of warm water results in slightly lower pH but is nothing to be overly concerned about… provided it is diluted.
You can enjoy the benefits of your warm lemon drink and reduce the risk of damage to your teeth. Here are a few recommendations:
We recommend avoiding brushing teeth within 30 minutes of drinking to avoid abrasion on softened enamel, as saliva and water can help remineralise teeth over that time.