Lemon aide

Always believe what you read in the paper. According to the Country Edition of the Sunday Times (1 July) in 1951, “A few drops of lemon juice to moisten your toothpaste will quickly help to whiten discolored teeth without harming the enamel.”  

Before you rush out to the local greengrocer and buy a boxful of “organic” teeth bleach, let’s examine this piece of advice scientifically.

Fact 1: Tooth enamel (the outer coating of a tooth) consists of various minerals, which are dissolved (eroded) by direct contact with acid or when our saliva becomes acidic.

Fact 2: Lemon juice contains citric acid.

Fact 1 + Fact 2 = Adding lemon juice to toothpaste acidifies saliva and therefore erodes tooth enamel. In addition, the acid’s direct contact with enamel, in combination with any toothpaste abrasive will produce a more potent dissolving effect.

Ramifications: Loss of tooth enamel increases the visibility of yellow dentine, which is apparently NOT WHITE!


Dear Fellow Dental Explorer

For all the U2 fans – what year did the band release their hit “Lemon”? You know the one, “She wore lemmmon…


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