Drinking water every day keeps your brain functions strong, headaches at bay, and can even help you lose weight. However, water also has many benefits for your mouth.
Choosing water over sugary beverages is one of the best ways to care for your oral health. It’s time to put down the soda and learn more about the oral health benefits of water.
Oral health benefits of water
Switching your daily soda with water will benefit your mouth in many ways.
Fluoridated water keeps teeth strong
If you drink water from a tap, you are helping your teeth and bones stay strong by ingesting tiny amounts of fluoride. The fluoridation of water, or supplementing tap water with fluoride, has been called one of the greatest advancements in public health, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The fluoridation of public water started in 1945 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Now, about 73 percent of the population of the United States has access to fluoridated water.
It’s important to note that some water filtration devices, such as reverse osmosis systems, can remove a significant amount of fluoride from tap water. Therefore, people who drink primarily from these systems may not get the benefits of the fluoridation of water.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in your teeth and bones. It’s also found in soil, water, plants, and even the air. The mineral helps prevent cavities and tooth decay by strengthening the outer layer of teeth, or enamel. This is why many oral health products, such as toothpaste and mouth rinses, contain fluoride.
By simply choosing to drink from a water source containing fluoride, you are helping to prevent cavities and tooth decay. It’s one of the easiest ways to use water to benefit your oral health!
Water cleans your mouth
Sipping on water throughout the day is one of the most effective ways to keep your mouth clean. Although drinks like soda and juice may leave your teeth feeling clean, the reality is sugar particles are left behind. Naturally occurring bacteria in your mouth break down these sugar particles and produce acids that soften the hard tissues of your teeth.
Like saliva, water cleans your teeth and helps to wash away food debris, unwanted sugar, and acid produced by bacteria in your mouth. Nothing replaces a consistent brushing routine when it comes to clean teeth, but sipping on water is a great addition to your oral health routine!
Water supports saliva production
Saliva, or the clear liquid that is formed in your mouth, is incredibly important to your oral health because it plays many roles when it comes to the health of your mouth. It helps start the digestion process by lubricating food, helps wash away food debris, and can slow the growth of unwanted bacteria, to name a few.
When there is not enough saliva being produced, it can lead to xerostomia, more commonly known as dry mouth. Dry mouth is a serious oral health condition that can cause the tongue, gums, and other tissues to become painful and swollen. It also increases the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
One of the best ways to prevent dry mouth is to sip on water throughout the day. Glands in your mouth need enough fluid in the body to make saliva. Staying hydrated is one of the easiest ways to increase saliva production and benefit your oral health.
Water is the best choice when it comes to supporting oral health
Choosing a nice, refreshing glass of water is always the best choice when it comes to caring for your oral health. Whether it is keeping your mouth clean or your teeth strong, it seems water can do it all.
Looking for more tooth-friendly drinks? Check out this article.
*Updated May 2023