Drinking enough water to stay hydrated is always important, especially in the middle of summer. Although it is recommended to drink at least eight 8 oz glasses of water a day, you may need to drink more than that during the summer, especially if you are regularly sweating. This is because the human body is approximately 60% water and needs water to function properly. In fact, losing as little as 2% of your body’s water content can result in dehydration that causes fatigue, reduced brain function, and headaches or migraines.
Not only that, but drinking water is also especially important for your oral health. In addition to the simple fact that drinking water keeps you hydrated, it also helps to preserve your oral health. Here are some of the oral health benefits of drinking water:
When it comes to staying hydrated, some people choose soft drinks over water. However, soft drinks such as sodas, sports drinks, teas, and juices tend to contain large amounts of sugar. These sugars feed the bacteria responsible for tooth decay, which helps to promote bacterial growth. Not only that, but bacteria convert sugar in an acidic waste product that destroys the enamel and results in cavity formation. This means that the more sugar consumed, the more bacteria and the higher the risk of tooth decay. Sugary drinks have also been associated with type-2 diabetes and obesity. Conversely, water is able to keep you hydrated without increasing the risk of oral or overall health concerns.
Another problem with drinking soft drinks to stay hydrated is that they can contain acid. Soda, in particular, contains large amounts of tartaric, phosphoric, and/or citric acids. Even sugar-free soft drinks can still contain varying amounts of acids. Unfortunately, these acids increase the overall acidity in the mouth, which causes cavities to develop faster. This is because the acids from bacteria combine with the acids from sodas to erode the enamel quicker. Water, on the other hand, has a neutral pH of 7. This means that not only will it not make your mouth acidic, but drinking water can also help to reduce acidity in the mouth by balancing the pH.
Keeps the Mouth Clean
Drinking water also helps to keep your mouth clean in between brushing twice a day. Throughout the day, anything you eat or drink leaves some residue or debris on the surface of your teeth that bacteria can potentially feed off of. However, drinking water helps to flush away debris and residue to keep the surface of your teeth clean. Drinking water after a meal or consuming a soft drink is an easy and effective way to eliminate excess sugar and bacteria from the mouth. As mentioned before, drinking water also helps to reduce the acidity of your saliva. Ultimately, this helps to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
Strengthens the Enamel
Nowadays, most drinking water is fluoridated, meaning that extra fluoride has been added to the water. Fluoride is used in toothpastes and other dental products because of its ability to strengthen the tooth enamel, making it more resistant to decay. In some cases, fluoride can also remineralize damaged enamel to prevent a cavity. While drinking soft drinks with sugar and acids actively damages your teeth, drinking fluoridated water actively makes them stronger.
Prevents Dry Mouth
Xerostomia is a condition in which the mouth cannot produce enough saliva to properly clean itself. In addition to being uncomfortable, dry mouth can result in bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease as a result of excess bacteria in the mouth. Saliva is composed primarily of water, although it also contains enzymes, mucus, and electrolytes. Drinking more water helps your body produce more saliva, as well as helps keep the mouth clean.
Dr. Sarmad Channo, a Rochester, MI dentist, received his doctorate degree from New York University Dental School. Since then, he has continued studying to broaden his expertise and has also graduated from Progressive Orthodontic Seminars with the highest of honors. Dr. Channo has also served as an instructor for both the McGann Postgraduate School of Dentistry and Progressive Orthodontic Seminars.