How Hydration Improves Oral Health

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Andrew Slavin, DMD, FACS

Andrew Slavin, DMD, FACS

August 4, 2022

Importance of Drinking Water

It is no secret that drinking water is one of the healthiest things you can do for your body. It’s unquestionably the healthiest beverage option available. Water carries nutrients and oxygen to your cells, aids digestion, normalizes blood sugar, regulates body temperature, and improves your oral health. Water can also boost your energy, help you maintain a healthy weight, and hydrate your skin. Drinking water and staying hydrated keeps nutrients flowing through your body and is essential to a healthy lifestyle. 

How is Water Good for Your Oral Health?

Hydration Strengthens Your Teeth

One of the best ways to keep your teeth strong and healthy is by drinking fluoridated water. Most drinking water contains a small amount of fluoride in it, so the more water you drink the more fluoride gets to your teeth to prevent cavities. This is not only beneficial to your smile but to your overall physical health. Water also flushes your teeth with calcium and phosphate which strengthens your teeth’s enamel. To learn more about what fluoridated water is and where to find it, read “How Fluoride Affects Your Oral Health.” 

Hydration Prevents Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is a condition in which the salivary glands in your mouth don’t make enough saliva to keep your mouth wet, creating an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive which can cause long term dental problems. Saliva is antibacterial and the minerals in saliva aid in strengthening your teeth. Drinking water regularly throughout the day to stay hydrated can increase the flow of saliva in your mouth and prevent dry mouth from occurring.

Hydration Keeps Your Mouth Clean

Saliva also cleans your teeth of food particles that linger in your teeth and reduces the amount of harmful germs attaching to plaque. With enough hydration, the salivary flow soaks each individual tooth and creates calcium and phosphorus ions that help strengthen the tooth and wash away food particles and harmful germs. Drinking sugary drinks like soda, juice, and sweetened tea leave unwanted sugar on your teeth that can result in tooth decay and weakened enamel. Water is the best option for fighting against bacteria, keeping your teeth strong and your mouth clean.

Hydration Fights Bad Breath

There are so many benefits to drinking water, and fighting against bad breath can be added to the list. Dry mouth is one cause of “morning breath”. Drinking water consistently throughout the day naturally fights against dry mouth, which will help avoid morning breath. Another way drinking water fights bad breath is by washing away food particles in the mouth which contributes to bad breath forming.Too many drinks with caffeine, salt, or alcohol can dehydrate the body and contribute too bad breath as well.

What Can You Do?

Since drinking water has enormous benefits for your overall health, it is important to create habits to stay hydrated. As a general rule, you should aim to drink between half an ounce to an ounce of water for each pound of your body weight a day, according to WebMD. For example, if you weigh 150lbs, then you would drink between 75 to 150 ounces of water a day. You can also consume water-rich fruits and vegetables like cucumbers, tomatoes, apples, and lettuce to aid in hydration. Reducing your intake of sugary drinks like sweet tea, soda, and energy drinks can also help you stay hydrated. Setting a daily goal, reminders on your phone, and tracking your water intake are helpful ways you can challenge yourself to drink more water.

Andrew Slavin, DMD, FACS

Andrew Slavin, DMD, FACS

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