Is Drinking Lemon Water Bad For Your Teeth?

10010433 - lemon water with fresh lemons and green plants

I have had an unusually large number of patients come in for their dental appointments lately complaining of sensitive teeth!  The first question I always ask is:  “Have you started drinking lemon water”?

While many well-meaning naturopathic doctors even recommend it to their clients instead of coffee, I am quite concerned that they have not also counseled these people on the possible side-effects of this daily habit to their teeth.

Although There Are Health Benefits, Lemon Water Can Cause Damage to Your Teeth

While drinking lemon water is reported to help with boosting the immune system, improving digestion and strengthening the liver, it can have devastating effects on the teeth that may be irreparable.

Signs of Enamel Erosion Include:

  • Tooth Discoloration – Enamel gives teeth their white appearance. Once it wears away, the teeth may have a yellow tint because the dentin, the substance underneath the enamel is showing.
  • Transparent Edges – If the edges of the teeth are transparent, this is a sign that the enamel is thin and not very strong.
  • Tooth Sensitivity – The protective enamel has been eroded and the inside of the tooth is more exposed to temperatures that make eating and drinking hot and cold things uncomfortable.

How to Prevent Acid Erosion

While there are a variety of toothpastes now on the market that can help with “Acid Erosion”, I feel the best approach is always preventative and suggest the following:

  1. Don’t Sip: If you are going to drink lemon water have it all at once, do not sip on it.
  1. Use a Straw: Try drinking it through a straw to avoid bathing all of your teeth in the citric acid.
  1. Never brush your teeth immediately after drinking lemon water: The citric acid softens the enamel and brushing them immediately after will wear the enamel more easily. Instead wait 30-60 minutes to brush, rinse with water immediately after drinking, and/or if possible, rinse with an alkaline substance such as baking soda water or milk.
  1. Try lemon essential oil in instead: It has all of the benefits, but the oil is made from the lemon peel not the fruit. This makes it healthier for your teeth!  1-2 drops in a glass of water is ideal; your teeth will thank you for it!

What other measures do you take to combat acid erosion?

I welcome your feedback. You can connect with me via email or telephone, leave a comment right here on the site or join in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Until next time,

Kathleen

Giving Up Coffee for Better Health

Young woman drinking coffee in urban cafe

I know that there are quite a number of scientific studies that support drinking coffee, and I for one, have often fallen back on them to justify my daily consumption of that ethereal cup of Joe!  Fortunately, a happenstance situation recently caused me to re-evaluate this habitual practice and to consider giving up coffee!

I typically drank one cup a day–a big cup mind you–and this, first thing in the morning, and I guess if I am honest, I have done this most of my adult life.  On special occasions though, and if I was dragging my butt mid-afternoon, then I would often have a cappuccino or a latte.  We have a wonderful Saeco machine here at home that allowed me this luxury if I felt like indulging.

Lately though, I have toyed with the idea of quitting when observing the throngs of people walking around with their oversized Starbucks in hand looking like permanent appendages.  My reaction these days is; be very afraid of what the masses are doing!  More important than this though, is that nagging feeling that anything I can’t do without on a daily basis may be vying for classification as an addictive behavior, and this really concerned me.

Some 6 weeks ago my convictions were put to the test when I contracted a bout of stomach flu gratis my granddaughter.  I could not tolerate even the smell of a cup of coffee let alone drink it and within 3 hours I had a raging headache that lasted the better part of the day.  I had heard that this is a normal reaction when a coffee drinker is deprived of his java jolt but it frightened me!

“Anything that can cause my body to react so negatively within a couple of hours of not having it can’t be good”!

I decided that day, that since I had already gone one day without coffee, it would be a good time to try a couple of weeks and see what happened.

I must admit, I did not have any expectations and I purposely tried not to look for physical changes so that I could be more objective about how my body was responding.  One cup a day… how bad could that be?

Well for me, and I always need to preface with this intro, it has made a huge difference!

I noticed immediately the first week that I had begun to dream every night!  I don’t ever remember dreaming like this my entire adult life!  I have surmised that I must be in a deeper sleep than I usually am and hence, able to not only dream, but remember them as well.  I am also happy to report that so far, they have all been good dreams… no nightmares!

I have also noticed that I am experiencing some very minor hot flashes.  These are not the debilitating ones I used to get when I was 50 and going through menopause – that by the way, stopped when I quit drinking alcohol – more like little twinges, that seem to me, to be an indication that my hormones are re-balancing.

Lastly, I am definitely sleeping better in general!  I now have full-nights where I don’t even get up to go to the bathroom!  If good sleep is as healing as they say, then I am really helping my body to rest and rejuvenate.

Do I miss my coffee… you bet I do!  Am I happy I quit… absolutely!

I welcome your feedback. You can connect with me via email or telephone, leave a comment right here on the site or join in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Until next time,

Kathleen

We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know: Ignaz Semmelweis

Washing hands.

Sometimes in life, science and the subsequent proof we seek lag far behind validating research (this begs a whole other discussion on funding of such today).  In support of my concerns about the dangers of fluoride and how we don’t know what we don’t know, I would like to share the tragic but compelling story of Ignaz Semmelweis. Continue reading

To Floss or Not To Floss

58986866 - young woman flossing teeth in front of mirror

Recently, a patient brought to my attention an Associated Press release that made it to the evening news, stating officials have never really researched the effectiveness of regular flossing.  She then asked me to comment on whether I think it is necessary to floss or not to floss.

While I was aware of the limited data available supporting this oral health care practice, I have personally observed, anecdotally, that the effects of some kind of in-between bacterial disruption on a daily basis really does help to reduce bleeding gums and inflammation. Continue reading

Medical Medium: The Role of Microbes in Oral Diseases

Medical Medium

I recently read Medical Medium, a new book by medical intuitive Anthony William, and it has resonated immensely with my own intuition about the role microbes may play in many diseases, including oral diseases.

According to William, the medical establishment is decades away from uncovering the truths espoused in his book, largely centering on the Epstein Barr virus.  The Epstein Barr virus belongs to the family of herpes viruses including those that cause cold sores, genital herpes, chickenpox and shingles and has been found to be responsible for mononucleosis and Sjogren’s syndromeContinue reading

5 Reasons Why I Recommend ECO-DENT DailyCare Toothpowder

Eco-DentAs a holistic registered dental hygienist, I am often asked by my patients, family and friends what “toothpaste” I recommend. In most cases I suggest that they try ECO-DENT DailyCare Toothpowder and I actually give out samples right here in my office for them to try.  There are many reasons why I recommend this toothpowder over a regular toothpaste, but here are my top 5 reasons why I choose to recommend ECO-DENT DailyCare Toothpowder.

5 Reasons Why I Recommend ECO-DENT DailyCare Toothpowder: Continue reading

3 Strategies to Improve the Oral Microbiome

Oral Microbiome

In last month’s blog, What if the Real Cause of Cavities and Gum Disease is Incorrect, I introduced my belief in the necessity of exploring and acknowledging the oral microbiome as a key to really understanding and treating oral disease.  As I continue to research and learn, I have developed 3 key strategies to help my patients improve their oral microbiome:

  1. Don’t routinely use mouthwash
  2. Eat a minimum of grains and processed carbohydrates
  3. Consider oral Probiotic supplementation

Continue reading

Laughter

Dentist.

My third intention word for 2016 is LAUGHTER.

For those of you who know me personally, you may know that I am a rather serious person and am not given to an easy-going approach to life in general.  I am passionate about everything I do, and while this can be a wonderful personality trait, sometimes I know that I just need to lighten up and laugh a little!

In researching laughter I have found a multitude of studies that generally come to the same basic conclusions about the benefits of laughter:

  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduces stress hormone levels
  • Fun abdominal workout
  • Improves cardiac health
  • Boosts T cells
  • Triggers the release of endorphins
  • Produces a general sense of well-being

Continue reading

Silence

finger on her lips. silence gesture

My second Intention Word for 2016 is SILENCE!

I did not realize how noisy this world was until I quit my job in mainstream dentistry some eight years ago and began to focus on creating silence in my life as part of my healing.

I had worked in an open-concept dental office for roughly eighteen years where the sounds of high-speed drills, ultrasonic scalers, televisions, telephones, doorbells and people talking bombarded and permeated the race-against-the-clock practice of modern dentistry were common every day noise. Continue reading

My 3 Intention Words for 2016

Enough is enough text on blackboard

I want to thank my good friend Karen Armstrong at Inside Out for sharing her New Year’s tradition of picking three words that reflect the energy that the New Year is bringing forth for her and making these her Intention Words for the coming year.

I have decided to adopt Karen’s idea for myself this year because of its simplicity, and the fact that it does not necessitate setting goals or making resolutions.  I am a very goal-oriented person both personally and professionally and while this has helped greatly in the past to keep me on track with my vision of success, I know it is time to take a break in 2016 and coast for awhile.  For those of you who know me, coasting is not in my vocabulary so this is really going to be a challenge.  However, I am turning 60 this year, and as I enter into this next chapter of my life the universe is gently prodding me to take a break, to rest a bit and just be.

So here are my Intention Words for 2016: Continue reading