Recently, I read on a website that mixing lemon juice and baking soda and rubbing it on your teeth for a couple of weeks makes them whiter. I did this a couple of days ago and earlier today, I heard that lemon juice is really bad for your teeth and decays your enamel. I’ve only done it twice. When I made the mixture, I only had it on my teeth for a minute and then brushed my teeth regularly. After discovering this information about the bad effects of this mixture, I will not be whitening my teeth this way. Do you think I caused permanent damage to my teeth?
– Jane from Louisiana
It’s good to hear that you did follow-up research on lemon juice and teeth whitening. Lemon juice is highly acidic and if used on teeth over time, causes erosion of the tooth enamel leading to tooth decay. Citric acid found in lemon juice is a powerful agent. Did you know it can be used to scour limescale from boilers and in a higher concentration form it removes hard water stains from glass without any scrubbing motion?
Citric acid is not only found in cleaning products but also soda. This is why your dentist or dental hygienist tells you to limit your intake of soda. Those who drink soda on a daily basis are more prone to tooth decay and tooth erosion.
It’s an important thing to remember to never brush your teeth within 30 minutes after consuming liquids or foods that contain citric acid as well as ascorbic acid which is also found in sodas. Teeth are attacked by the acid which causes the enamel and underlying layer dental to erode. When you brush right away, it can accelerate the process by pushing the acid further into the tooth layers. The best thing you can do is neutralize the acid in your mouth by drinking water after consuming acidic products.
If you want to whiten your teeth, it’s best to visit your dentist and see if you are a good candidate for teeth whitening. The best, safest, and most effective way to get a brighter smile is have a dental health professional take care of you.
To learn more, visit Dr. Ryan Perry’s website, Baton Rouge Family Dentist