Water is life. It’s a cliche, but it’s so true. Drinking water is one of the best things you can do for your overall health. Did you know that water also has plenty of oral health benefits? The simple act of drinking water helps keep our teeth and gums healthy. It’s a simple and powerful step that makes a significant difference.
How Does Drinking Water Help My Teeth?
- It helps clean your teeth. Unlike sodas and sports drinks, which contain sugars and acids that can hurt your teeth, water helps wash away food particles and cavity-causing bacteria.
- It prevents dry mouth. As the American Dental Association puts it, saliva is “your mouth’s first defense against tooth decay.” Saliva helps your body break down carbohydrates when they enter your mouth. Saliva helps you chew and eat your food while cleaning your teeth. When your mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva, it makes chewing uncomfortable and can cause tooth decay.
- It helps remineralize your enamel. Water from wells and municipal supplies contains fluoride and other minerals that strengthen your tooth enamel. Water from many municipal sources contains added fluoride, which prevents tooth decay. According to the ADA, a Canadian study showed lower levels of tooth decay in towns with fluoridated water.
How Can Drinking Water Help My Gums?
- Drinking water keeps your body’s tissues healthy and hydrated–including gum tissue. Healthy gum tissue helps prevent infection.
- Drinking water washes away the bacteria that cause gingivitis.
- It improves saliva production, which helps fight gum disease by washing away harmful bacteria.
How Much Water Should I Drink?
Many of us have heard about the 8×8 rule: eight ounces of water eight times a day. But experts are now recommending even more water to stay healthy. The latest advice from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine suggests that women drink 11 cups of fluid and men drink 16 cups every day. In addition to improving oral health, water boosts overall health in the following ways:
- It helps distribute nutrients and remove waste.
- It eliminates toxins and promotes clear skin
- It can help you lose weight.
- Hydration helps improve sleep cycles and boosts mood.
What Are Tips For Drinking More Water?
- Buy a refillable water bottle and remember to take it with you to work, school, in the car etc.
- Keep a small emergency supply of disposable water bottles in your car–in case you forget.
- Track your water consumption using an app or just a notebook.
- Drink water before and after you eat. It helps you feel full and washes away food particles when you’re finished.
At Greenhill Family Dental Care, we are all about drinking water. Our staff is diligent about water consumption. It’s a terrific habit we love to share with our own families and patients. It’s an inexpensive, easy and effective tool for improving oral health. And we love all the other health perks it provides. Combined with regular brushing and flossing and routine checkups, it helps us stay healthy and refreshed and keeps our smiles bright.