Dr Susan Tanner has recently tried to set the record straight on the growing trend of Lemon Juice diets, see below her thoughts on the subject!

No more lemon juice diets!

There are so many articles in the health and beauty media advocating drinking lemon juice in water in the morning and during the day for a multitude of “health” reasons such as detoxing, reducing appetite, etc.

Just a few examples of the very numerous articles advocating lemon juice diets;




Lemon juice is a strong acid and will soften and dissolve the superficial surface of dental enamel that covers natural teeth.  Over time and with continued drinking of acidic drinks such as lemon water, a substantial amount of the protective enamel will be lost leaving the teeth sensitive, visibly reduced in size, darker in colour due to more of the naturally darker dentine being exposed, more fragile with a tendency to chipping and fractures, and faster and faster rates of wear.

I am a specialist prothodontist with years of experience restoring teeth that have been damaged by acid erosion. Ofter the procedures that have to be used are not simple or easy, and sometimes more tooth needs to be removed/cut away to make space for a protective covering to be placed by the dentist.

There are measures that can be taken to reduce or prevent more enamel erosion, some examples are; reduction of frequency of acidic foods and drinks in the diet, care not to brush teeth immediately after eating these foods, rinsing with a non alcohol fluoride mouthwash.  It is important that everyone knows that the best people to advise them are their dentist or hygienist if they feel they may have concerns.

There are many other foods and drinks that are also acidic, often those that are ‘good for you’ such as fruits and fruit juices, carbonated drinks including water, vinegars, fruit teas, chewable vitamin tablets, sugar free fruit sweets, wine, and even the gin and tonic with a lemon slice in it!

I feel disheartened that young people are being encouraged to follow these ridiculous unproven diet regimes without considerate warning of the long term damage that can be caused to teeth, and their smiles, and ultimately their overall attractiveness and self confidence.