You probably already know that water is essential to human survival. In fact, our bodies are composed of nearly 60% water. Water allows us to remove wastes, distribute nutrients and keep our skin healthy. But the benefits of H20 don’t stop there. Water is equally important to your oral health, especially if you choose a supply that contains fluoride!
Staying hydrated means that you are consuming enough water to meet your body’s needs and demands. While there are various opinions on how much water you should be drinking each day, most health authorities suggest eight 8-ounce glasses (the 8 X 8 rule). This prevents dehydration, which can threaten several systems within your body, including your oral health.
How Water Benefits Your Smile
#1 Makes your Teeth Stronger
When you choose a water supply that contains fluoride (typically tap water), you are getting nature’s cavity prevention. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral in water that offers the remarkable ability to strengthen the enamel of your teeth and help prevent tooth decay. Don’t miss this essential benefit of water for your teeth, and make sure you are not strictly drinking bottled water without fluoride. Water also promotes saliva production, and saliva contains calcium and phosphorus ions which help strengthen the teeth as well.
#2 Prevents Dry Mouth
A parched mouth demands water. While there are other factors that can cause dry mouth, dehydration is a primary culprit in restricting saliva flow. Unfortunately, your oral health is at significant risk when saliva production remains low. We need saliva to digest our food, rinse away bacteria and neutralize the acids in our mouth. When saliva is decreased due to dehydration, you can become more vulnerable to a variety of oral heath issues ranging from cavities and infections to gum disease and bad breath.
#3 Cleans Your Teeth and Gums
Water is one of the quickest and most convenient ways to clean your teeth when a toothbrush and toothpaste are not available. In fact, drinking water after consuming high-sugared foods or acidic drinks can rinse away substances from your teeth and gums before they have a chance to cause harm. In addition, frequent sips of water throughout the day can deter staining on your teeth caused by dark-colored foods and drinks. There’s no risk of water harming your teeth so it is the safest means for repeated rinses and maintenance cleanings between brushing.
#4 Prevents Bad Breath
Drinking plenty of water throughout the day is one of the best ways to prevent foul breath odor that is caused by bacteria and plaque buildup. Water not only helps to rinse away lingering bacteria and food debris between meals, but it also promotes saliva production to further boost the cleaning process. When bacteria is not removed or rinsed away, it feeds on sugars in your mouth and releases foul-smelling sulfur compounds in the process. Staying hydrated can help prevent this stinky chain of event from occurring inside your mouth.
Just because you are not sweating outside in the Georgia heat, doesn’t mean you can slack off on your water consumption game. Continue to stay hydrated through the winter and all seasons of the year to protect your physical health and your smile health. For more ways that water can improve your dental health, call Dr. Mitzi Morris.