Your dental health is a vital part of your overall health. You probably know that you need to brush your teeth, swish with mouthwash, and use an interdental device to clean between your teeth. However, did you know that you should also be drinking plenty of water each day for optimal oral health? Consider these reasons that water can help protect the health of your teeth and gums.
Drinking Water Washes Away the Bad Stuff
When you drink water, you may not think about how the harmful sugars, bacteria, and small food particles in your mouth gets washed away in the process. In fact, when you cannot brush or floss between snacks, drinking and swishing with plenty of water can help you naturally cleanse your mouth until you can further care for your dental health.
Water Is Good for Your Gums
Gum disease such as gingivitis and periodontitis can lead to tooth loss and the erosion of the bone that supports your teeth. It begins with bacterial growth in the mouth. That bacteria builds up with plaque, turning into tartar on your teeth. Your saliva is the first line of defense in fighting that bacteria, yet saliva can only be optimally produced when you are drinking plenty of water.
Also, drinking water frequently reduces the bacteria that causes gum disease. In addition to drinking water, you may also rinse with salt water once per day to help prevent gum disease. While your body needs to stay hydrated, the pathogens in your mouth can be dehydrated by the salt water, which can provide immediate relief for sore gums.
Staying Well-Hydrated Can Prevent Dry Mouth
Dry mouth, which is also referred to as xerostomia, can cause such problems as gingival inflammation and tooth decay. Xerostomia can be caused by things such as medications, nerve damage, natural aging and certain diseases like diabetes. However, it can also be caused by dehydration. So, drinking plenty of water can help combat dry mouth.
Fluoridated Water Strengthens Tooth Enamel
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that fluoridated water can reduce tooth decay by 25 percent in both adults and children. Many municipal water supplies today have some fluoride added to their content. However, if you are on well water, you should have the water analyzed to evaluate the level of naturally occurring fluoride. It may be that you will need to take a fluoride supplement. Your dentist or medical doctor could help you with a prescription for this. Once your teeth have fully formed, systemic uptake of fluoride does not significantly impact your teeth, but the topical exposure of fluoride on your teeth is still beneficial.
Fluoridated water is also recommended by the American Dental Association, World Health Organization, and US Public Health Service. Because fluoridated water so drastically contributed to the decrease in dental cavities since the 1960’s, the CDC also named water fluoridation as one of the 10 great public health achievements in the 20th century. However, fluoride alone will not prevent tooth decay. Nothing replaces good oral hygiene.
Tap or Bottled Water Has No Sugar or Calories
People who drink sugary drinks throughout the day are consistently exposing their teeth to enamel-eroding acids. Sugary soda consumption has also been linked to health conditions such as diabetes which, in turn, can make it more difficult to maintain oral health. By drinking water instead, you enjoy a beverage with no sugar or calories with numerous health benefits.
Finally, in addition to drinking eight glasses of water per day, you should see your dentist for regular cleanings and check-ups. Contact the caring team at Silverstone Family Dental today to make your next dental appointment. Dr. Hill and other staff members strive to empower you to keep your teeth and gums healthy for many years to come.