There is no argument about the numerous benefits of proper hydration for your health, skin, and general wellbeing. Drinking water is also important for your oral health, in combination with regular brushing and flossing, good nutrition, regular dental visits, and good lifestyle habits.
Benefits of Drinking Water for Your Oral Health
1. Rinses sugars and acids from your mouth.
Acidic and sugary foods promote the growth of harmful bacteria in your mouth and the demineralization of tooth enamel, increasing the risk of tooth decay. Bacteria in your mouth feed on sugars from the items you consume and convert them to lactic acid. The consumption of acidic foods such as tomatoes and citrus further increases the acid content in your mouth.
The longer the acids remain in your mouth, the more your tooth enamel is eroded. Drinking water after meals and drinks helps to flush sugars away and dilutes the acids in your mouth to minimize any damage before you have a chance to brush and floss your teeth.
2. Combats dry mouth.
Saliva plays a vital role in your mouth, and when the supply runs low, sipping water can help prevent a dry mouth and maintain some of the functions of saliva, which include:
● Balancing the pH level in your mouth by diluting the acids formed in the mouth that may erode tooth enamel causing tooth decay
● Washing away food debris in your mouth
● Facilitating swallowing of food and drinks
● Maintaining strong teeth by washing them with calcium, fluoride, and phosphate
● Inhibiting the growth of bacteria that may lead to chronic bad breath or halitosis
Drinking water can help reduce some of the risks of diminished saliva secretion as you work on a more permanent solution, or just to augment the functions of saliva.
3. Prevents tooth staining.
There are many foods and drinks that can discolor your teeth, including candy, berries, deep-colored sauces, tea, coffee, and wine. If you don’t rinse your mouth with water after consuming these foods and drinks, you allow them to penetrate your porous tooth enamel and dentin, resulting in stained teeth. Experts recommend that you swish water in your mouth after consuming any food or drink to flush away anything that may cause staining.
Lastly, it is worth noting that drinking fluoridated water can help strengthen your teeth and prevent tooth decay. Water fluoridation is regulated by the government as a preventive measure for tooth decay. It is an important accomplishment that has been identified by the US CDC as one of the health achievements of the 20th century. That said, you should discuss with your dentist whether you need to supplement your fluoride intake depending on the state of your teeth.