Drinking water is good for your body, but it is especially good for your teeth. The best dentist in Utah will tell you that the best thing to do in addition to brushing and flossing is drinking more water. Sipping water throughout the day (especially water that is fluoridated) will benefit you in a lot of ways, but here are three specific ways that drinking water helps your oral health:
Water Keeps Your Mouth Clean
Juice, sports drinks, and soda leave sugar on your teeth. The cavity causing bacteria in your mouth then eat that sugar and produce acid. The acid created by this bacteria with the help of sugar wears away enamel, your teeth’s protective shell. If the drink has malic acid, citric acid, or phosphoric acid, these ingredients only add to the problem.
Unlike other drinks, however, water cleans your mouth. Sipping water will wash out food, sugars, and bacteria and dilutes acids produced by bacteria in your mouth. Water will never replace brushing and flossing, but it certainly helps your efforts. A Riverton dentist tells his patients, “8 glasses a day keeps the dentist away!”
Water Strengthens Your Teeth
One of the easiest ways to prevent cavities is by drinking water with fluoride. To understand the impact fluoride can have on your teeth, just read instances of cities who took the fluoride out of their water. A dentist in Murray shares this example: the citizens of Calgary, Canada opted to stop fluoridating their water in 2011. In 2011, the Canadian city of Calgary stopped adding fluoride to its water . In the February 2016 journal Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology , a research group reported that children in non-fluoridated Calgary had more tooth decay than children in a nearby city with uninterrupted fluoridation.
Moral of the story? Drinking water (especially fluoridated water) helps your teeth fight cavities throughout the day.
Water Fights Dry Mouth
Fluoride is nature’s cavity fighter, but saliva is your mouth’s own cavity fighter. By washing away food, helping you swallow and keeping your teeth strong by washing them with calcium, phosphate and fluoride, saliva really does a lot as an anti-cavity.
When you have little saliva due to a dry mouth, your natural cavity fighter can no longer help you. Drinking water will reduce the risk of tooth decay.
The author is a dentist in Millcreek.