There’s nothing quite like slicing into a juicy lemon or drinking a cold glass of orange juice with breakfast. Citrus fruits add flavor and tang to some of the best recipes from strawberry lemonade to lemon curd to even salad dressings.
We probably don’t think twice about how that orange juice might affect our teeth, but citrus fruits can and do reason problems for teeth.
You may have heard of citric acid before. This is a naturally-occurring acid that is found in citrus fruits. Your body also makes citric acid that your body needs for cellular uptake. Citric acid that you ingest helps this cellular uptake, but that acid can also damage your teeth in the procedure. Acids erode, and citric acid erodes your tooth enamel when drinking or eating.
Citrus fruits are a family of fruits that contain lemons, limes, grapefruit, tangerines, and all of the various types of oranges. Citrus fruits are particularly common during cold and flu season as they are high in immune-boosting vitamin C, but there are other benefits of including citrus into your diet:
- High in fiber
- Low glycemic index: A piece of citrus fruit, especially a grapefruit, won’t cause a spike in your sugar levels.
- Citrus helps your body absorb other vitamins and minerals (like iron) better
- Good for weight loss
- Good for healthy skin: Vitamin C improves collagen production.
With all of those benefits, it’s hard to imagine that a piece of citrus could be bad for you! However, citrus fruit, while great for your body, can reason a few issues with your teeth:
Problems with enamel: Over time, citrus fruits can start to erode the enamel of teeth due to the high acidity of citrus fruits. Eroding enamel can reason other problems like increased risk of stains and sensitivity.
Tooth sensitivity: Some patients find that citrus fruits, especially lemons, can reason mild to extreme tooth sensitivity.
Citrus Can Help Your Overall Health
- The fruit is high in vitamin C, helping your immune system function well.
- It’s high in fiber, which keeps your digestive tract moving.
- Fruits are also high in many other vitamins and minerals.
- They are known to be full of antioxidants, which are substances that help your body repair damaged cells.
- Fruits are full of folate. This is a mineral that helps a growing fetus develop properly.