The concept of drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day has been a popular public message for decades. And, it’s not difficult to see why staying hydrated is important for a person’s overall health. But there’s an added benefit to drinking enough water—it promotes healthy teeth and gums!
2 Reasons Why Water is Vital for Healthy Teeth and Gums
We could go on and on about the benefits of water, because they are plentiful. It helps with energy, sleep, depression and weight regulation, to name a few. What about the dental benefits?
Here are just 2 reasons why water contributes to healthy teeth and gums.
- Protecting against dehydration. Staying hydrated keeps our saliva in tip-top shape. Yes, there is healthy and unhealthy saliva. Warning signs of unhealthy saliva include little to no saliva (aka dry mouth) or very sticky saliva.
Dry mouth can be caused by not drinking enough water, a nutrient deficient diet, or medications. Sticky saliva can mean that there is a buildup of sugar and/or bacteria. The problem with unhealthy saliva is that it can’t do its jobs, which include keeping the tissues of the mouth well hydrated, to wash away food debris, and protecting against acids from sugars and bacteria which can lead to dental decay.
Another benefit of water is that it doesn’t contain any sugar like juices and sodas. Because the person is avoiding sugary beverages and opting for water instead, the risk for decay is reduced.
- Preventing dental caries. If people are drinking fluoridated water, studies have shown the risk for tooth decay drops significantly. Of course, there is some controversy regarding adding fluoride to drinking water. As with everything, too much of a good thing can still be too much. Talk to your dentist for more information about water fluoridation.
Ways to Increase Your Water Intake for Healthy Teeth and Gums
Many people don’t like water, so they assume they’re a lost cause when it comes to proper hydration.
This is definitely not the case. There are plenty of ways to improve the taste of water!
- Add lemon, lime and orange slices to a jar of water. Refrigerate overnight. The oils in the skins of these fruits infuse the water with a nice, light flavor.
- Add mint leaves to the water. Refrigerate overnight. This makes a healthy, incredibly refreshing “mint tea”, but doesn’t contain sugar or caffeine.
- Add a little bit of fresh lemon or lime juice to water and a small amount of stevia powder. Stevia is a leaf that offers sweetness without the side effects of sugar.
Talk to Your Dentist for More Healthy Teeth and Gum Tips
For more information on how to get healthy teeth and gums, talk to your dentist. Even those in specialty professions, like Fifth Avenue Endodontics, have an abundance of knowledge when it comes to prevention of dental problems. They are happy to offer their recommendations for healthy teeth, gums and body.