Record temperatures in this area mean many of us are struggling to stay cool and hydrated. We know that in hot weather like this, drinking lots of water is more important than ever. But drinking water also helps your oral health in particular in ways you may not have considered:
Fluoridation Helps Protect Teeth
Drinking fluoridated water, i.e. basic tap water in most areas of the country, will help your teeth stay strong thanks to a process called remineralization that helps protect tooth enamel. Fluoridation is endorsed by groups like the American Dental Association and the American Medical Association. The CDC even calls fluoridation one of the top public health measures of the 20th century.
Water Helps Banish Dry Mouth
If you’re low on natural saliva (which is 99% water), you could be experiencing dry mouth. Increasing hydration by drinking more water, especially in weather like this, helps keep your mouth moist which can mean keeping tooth decay at bay. Increased water may also help address bad breath which can be caused by dry mouth.
Water Helps Prevent Gum Disease
Drinking water helps wash away bacteria from leftover food, which is helpful especially if you can’t brush your teeth. Water will also help dilute any lingering, enamel-destroying acids that are produced by nasty bacteria.
Water is Calorie-Free
Sodas, juices and sports drink may taste good, but they contain calories that can add up to extra pounds if you’re drinking lots of these beverages in hot weather. Water is clearly the #1 thirst-quenching choice. Best yet, it contains no calories and is sugar free, so you help keep your teeth healthier without putting on any pounds or damaging your teeth.
Read more about tooth health and water at the ADA’s helpful site, Mouth Healthy. And don’t forget that brushing and flossing your teeth, avoiding tobacco products, and maintaining regular dental and periodontal visits as instructed all work along with that increased water intake to keep your smile attractive and healthy.