It doesn’t matter if your glass is half-empty or half-full: Drinking water is always good for your health, especially your dental health. Our bodies are made of 60% water, and staying hydrated helps your system distribute healthy nutrients, gets rid of waste, gives your skin a healthy glow and keeps your muscles moving. Sipping water is also one of the best things you can do for your teeth – especially if it’s fluoridated.
Water can strengthen your teeth
Drinking water with fluoride (called “nature’s cavity fighter”) is one of the easiest and most beneficial things you can do to help prevent cavities. Fluoride is a mineral and in the right amount, fluoride in drinking water strengthens teeth. In fact, evidence shows that for most cities, every $1 invested in fluoridation saves $38 in costs to treat dental problems. Fluoride can be naturally present in the original source of the water and most public water systems add fluoride to their water. If you drink bottled or well water, using fluoride toothpaste and receiving fluoride treatments at your dental cleanings can be especially beneficial.
Water keeps your mouth clean
Drinking juice, soda or sports drinks may help you wash down your dinner, but they can leave unwanted sugar behind on your teeth. The cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth love to eat sugar and produce acid that wears away enamel, which is the outer shell of your teeth. Many of these drinks also have added acids (phosphoric, citrus or malic acid) to make them taste less sweet, but those acids also cause trouble by eroding away enamel.
Water, however, cleans your mouth with every sip. It washes away leftover food and residue that cavity-causing bacteria are looking for. It also dilutes the acids produced by the bacteria in your mouth. You’ll still need to brush twice a day for two minutes and clean between your teeth but drinking water through the day will go a long way toward keeping your smile cavity-free.
Water fights dry mouth
Saliva is your mouth’s first defense against tooth decay. It washes away leftover food, helps you swallow with ease and keeps your teeth strong by washing them with calcium, phosphate and fluoride.
When your saliva supply runs low, dry mouth may put you at risk for tooth decay. Drinking water can help cut your risk as you and your dentist work to find the best long-term solution for you.
Water is calorie-free
Sweetened drinks that are high in sugar and calories, create a perfect storm that puts you at risk for cavities and other unhealthy consequences like weight gain. In fact, studies have shown that drinking water can actually help you lose weight. So, the next time you need a drink, go guilt-free with water to take care of your body and your smile.
Drs. Joe Passaro and Woody Wooddell opened the doors to their dental practice in Davidsonville, MD in 1981. In addition to caring for their patients’ general dental health, Drs. Wooddell and Passaro provide expert restorative and esthetic dental solutions. Visit their website at www.wpdentalgroup.com or call 410.956.5555 for more information.
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