Citrus or Not to Citrus?

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It’s that time of year again – quicker than we thought and a sudden shock to our system for some. With barely any fall here in Toronto, our bodies are thrown for a loop as we go from short sleeves to full on winter gear!

The sniffles and coughs begin – but before they do – many natural practitioners would advise patients to load families up with Vitamin C. Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons and grapefruits can be added into your diet rotation to give your immune system a little boost.

Despite how great these fruits are for your body, from a dental perspective, these fruits are your teeth’s worst enemies. Although citrus fruits are super-rich in Vitamin C and are loaded with a whole array of health benefits, they are also loaded with acid that can erode and decay your tooth enamel.

Lemon and grapefruit are the most acidic, while orange is the least acidic of the group. Did you know that a kiwi actually has more Vitamin C than an orange? And it’s actually gentler on your teeth.

If you enjoy squeezing lemons in your water and sipping on it throughout the day, you might need to reconsider, as a prolonged acid exposure is really bad for your teeth. It’s better to drink or eat your lemons in one sitting and then drink plenty of fresh water to wash out the acid.

Frequent exposures to acidic foods can erode enamel, making teeth more
susceptible to decay over time. So even though a squeeze of lemon or lime can turn a simple glass of water into a cleansing, immune boosting situation, it’s not always the best choice for your mouth.

Citric fruits and juices can also irritate mouth sores. Make sure to drink plenty of plain water after eating or drinking any type of citrus foods, or beverages.

If you do need some immune boosting tips before it’s full on flu season, load up on bone broths, hearty soups full of garlic and ginger and you can even throw in some immune support supplements into your morning routine.

Don’t give up completely on oranges, limes or lemons. They are still great for your body. It’s quite the dichotomy. A good balance, however, and eating them in moderation following our suggestions above is always the right answer.

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