Water is essential for keeping you hydrated and helping your body perform many of its vital functions. Without water, your major organ function is impacted, including your heart, kidney, and brain, which can lead to headaches, an accelerated heart rate, and dizziness.
But did you know that drinking water is also crucial for supporting proper oral health? It’s true: water plays a pivotal role in keeping your teeth and gums healthy, and here’s why!
Drinking Water Helps Clean Your Mouth
When you drink water, you actually help rinse your mouth of any food particles that can cause harmful bacteria and acids in your oral cavity .
Your saliva contains digestive enzymes that actually help begin breaking down food in the mouth, but when bits of food are left behind, the bacteria these enzymes produce can be damaging to tooth enamel, causing it to weaken.
Damaged tooth enamel can lead to sensitive teeth and cavities, as well as discolored teeth. Fortunately, you can help protect your tooth enamel and reduce your risk for cavities simply by drinking enough water!
Water Replenishes Saliva to Protect Teeth
Saliva is mostly made of water and helps nourish your teeth to prevent decay. Not only does saliva play a role in preventing food particles, bacteria, and plaque from harming teeth, but it also contains minerals such as calcium and phosphorus to keep the tooth enamel strong and prevent decay.
When you don’t drink enough water, dry mouth is one of the first side effects. Without the buffer of saliva, dry mouth makes it easier for acids and bacteria to harm the teeth, and lead to an increased risk for cavities, bad breath, and gum disease .
Not only does water help replenish your saliva, but it also helps you to stay hydrated, which can keep your saliva production healthy throughout the day to protect your smile!
What Type of Water Is Best?
So now you know that drinking water is good for both your body and your smile—but what kind of water is best?
Plain water is the most beneficial for your teeth and gums. Sparkling water is slightly more acidic than flat water due to its carbonation, and flavored water such as that with sugars artificial flavors, or lemon can be too acidic on the teeth and potentially accelerate tooth enamel damage.
If your tap water is fluoridated, this could help benefit your teeth even more to prevent decay . If you have any questions about your fluoride consumption, don’t hesitate to follow up with your dentist!
Are you drinking enough water? Aim for at least eight glasses a day depending on your weight and activity level. Your body will usually tell you when you’re thirsty—so drink up and let your smile reap the benefits!