"Citric Acid and its effect on Teeth"

Many American childhood summers are spent going outside, engaging in fun physical activities and enjoying the break from school’s persistent obligations. A staple of any summer day is ice lemonade. Something about that intoxicating mixture of squeezed lemons, water, sugar and ice quenched our thirst on even the most scorching of summer days. The love affair with lemonade was made more enduring when young entrepreneurs of the neighborhood saw an opportunity to supplement their weekly allowance by peddling their brand of the drink. Ubiquitous stands lined the sidewalks, offering their nectar for a nominal fee.

Ice lemonade does taste good, there’s little doubt about that. However, the main component of lemonade, lemon, when eaten directly can pose some problems to the welfare of your teeth. Some people may like to suck on them. Others may like to peel and eat them. No matter how you cut it, citric acid in excessive amounts will dissolve tooth enamel. If eating foods with a high content of citric acid becomes habitual, then the second layer of teeth, dentin, may begin to dissolve. The erosive nature of citric acid on teeth may result in a toothache or highly sensitive teeth.

If you enjoy lemons or any other food with high amounts of citric acid, and eat them often, please be sure to visit your dentist regularly. Citric acid in excessive amounts can damage teeth, and damage can only be properly evaluated by a dentist. More likely than not, the dentist will put a filling, sensitivity gel, crown or veneer to fix the affected tooth.

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When life gives you lemons, make lemonade

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Acid erosion caused by sucking lemons. Notice the discoloration streaks.

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