Is the Lemon-Water Trend Ruining Your Teeth?

Your belief in Miranda Kerr rides on this, so tread carefully.

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If you were to dump every celebrity interview from the last three years pertaining to beauty into a giant bucket hat, the chances of you picking one out in which the actress chirps "I love to start the day with lemon water!" would be shockingly high.

As one of the most popular How to Be Perfect Like Me Prescriptions, a glass of warmish, citrus-spiked H2O in the a.m. has been credited with everything from reducing bloating to increasing metabolism to alkalinizing the body.(For the record, Keri Gans, RDN and author of The Small Change Diet, is skeptical about those claims, although she does say lemons are a good source of vitamin C and that she's "a big fan" of anything that gets people to drink more water in general.) But I've watched enough toothpaste ads to wonder what's really going on when I do my daily Miranda Kerr impersonation: yellow demon spheres—sometimes personified, sometimes not—hammering away at a pair of defenseless, increasingly porous chompers.

Alarmist? Maybe. But just to make sure we don't all end up with great digestion and stumps for teeth, I called on cosmetic and biomimetic dentist Dr. Christine Skordeles to give it to me straight.

"As long as you're not sucking on lemons all day long, having fresh lemon water is good for you," she says, emphasizing that she means juice from a fruit, not the commercially available kind that comes in a bottle shaped like a fruit. "It actually helps prevent disease."

But what about my visions of acid stripping away the enamel? WHAT ABOUT THE DEMON SPHERES? Dr. Skordeles concedes that drinking it throughout the day can be damaging over time, but LW is still preferable to, say, coffee with milk, which will give you cavities like nothing else. Just remember to imbibe after you brush and wait at least two hours before you clean again, which allows the calcium in your saliva time to re-mineralize your teeth.

Hooray! Ambiguously healthier me, here I (continue to) come!

You should also check out:

How Turning My Teeth Black Actually Made Them Whiter

The Lipstick Colors That Make Your Teeth Look Brighter

12 Foods That Naturally Whiten Your Teeth

Chelsea Peng
Chelsea Peng

I'm Chelsea Peng, the assistant editor at MarieClaire.com. On my tombstone, I would like a GIF of me that's better than the one that already exists on the Internet and a free fro-yo machine. Besides frozen dairy products, I'm into pirates, carbs, Balzac, and snacking so hard I have to go lie down.