Drinking water is one of the most important things you can do for your body, especially when you consider the fact that the human body is around 60% water. Your body uses water for a variety of different functions and even losing 2% of your total water content can cause headaches, fatigue, and a decrease in concentration, among other dehydration symptoms. Therefore in order to stay properly hydrated, it is recommended to drink eight 8 oz. glasses of water a day.
Although you may know how important hydration is for your body and overall health, most people don’t realize that drinking water can also be beneficial for their oral health. Out of all the different types of beverages available, water is by far the best thing you can drink for your oral health. This is because drinking water has a variety of oral health benefits such as:
Keeps Your Mouth Clean
Drinking water helps to flush bacteria and food debris out of the mouth. In fact, drinking water regularly can help to keep your mouth a lot cleaner and can reduce bad breath. It also helps to neutralize the pH of your saliva so that bacteria cannot thrive. Not only that, but water is the only beverage that does not leave residue on the surface of your teeth. Soft drinks, on the other hand, can leave behind sugar. Since bacteria feed off of sugar, this will increase the risk of tooth decay.
Prevents Dry Mouth
Drinking water frequently also helps to prevent or manage dry mouth. Dry mouth is a decrease in saliva production that can occur as a result of certain medications or medical conditions. Without enough saliva, your mouth is not able to clean itself as effectively, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Drinking water helps to promote saliva production and keeps the mouth moist.
Strengthens the Enamel
In addition to the fact that drinking water does not contain sugar and can clean your mouth, it also contains fluoride. Fluoride is added to drinking water and dental products in order to decrease the risk of tooth decay by strengthening the enamel. Regular fluoride consumption helps to prevent the enamel from being damaged by bacteria and can even help to prevent cavities from forming.
Tips for Drinking More Water
Now that you know some of the main oral health benefits for drinking water, here are some tips to help you drink more water:
- Carry a water bottle with you everywhere you go. This way you are more likely to actually drink water when you are thirsty instead of drinking something else.
- Monitor how much water you drink on a daily basis and then set goals throughout the day to increase or maintain your water intake.
- Work on sipping water gradually throughout the day instead of gulping down large amounts all at once. Not only is water better absorbed when taken in slowly, but sipping water prevents you from feeling bloated.
- Try drinking water before and after every meal. This helps you to reach your total daily water intake. Drinking water before a meal helps to decrease the amount of food you eat, while drinking water after a meal helps to clean your mouth and rinse away food particles.
Dr. Roman Fedorciw has been in private practice in Cromwell since 1991. He is a member of the Academy of General Dentistry, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and the American Dental Association. He is also a member of the Connecticut Dental Association and Middlesex County Dental Association. Dr. Fedorciw has been acknowledged by his peers as one of the “Top Dentists” in Hartford County by Hartford Magazine and in the state of Connecticut by Connecticut Magazine.