Drinking More Water: the Key to a Healthy Smile
As a local dentist in Newberg, Dr. McLeod wants her patients to appreciate the role water plays in helping to protect their oral health. Water nurtures the body’s cells and prevents dehydration, but it protects your teeth and gums more than you might think.
Daily brushing and flossing help to lower your risk of developing the type of dental problems that require you to seek treatment from a family dentist in Newberg. Not only does drinking water help to keep you hydrated, but it also helps to distribute healthy nutrients, flush impurities from your system, and maintain healthier-looking skin.
Let’s look at a few ways drinking water helps protect your oral health.
Strengthens Your Teeth
Drinking fluoridated tap water offers a safe and effective option for lowering your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. When combined with a healthy diet and daily oral hygiene, fluoride can help promote stronger teeth that are more resilient to plaque and tartar.
The World Health Organization, the American Dental Association, and the American Academy of Pediatricians recommend fluoride use to strengthen and improve long-term oral health. Drinking fluoridated water offers one of the easiest and most effective options for preventing cavities and tooth decay.
Cleans Your Mouth
Drinking water during and after a meal helps to flush food particles from the mouth. When allowed to remain in the mouth after eating, plaque uses the foods you eat to produce harmful acids that erode tooth enamel. By keeping your mouth clean, you cut off plaque’s food supply making it harder for the bacteria to cause the type of damage that contributes to the development of cavities.
Prevents Dry Mouth
Saliva produced by the mouth is made almost entirely of water. When the body cannot produce enough saliva, it develops dry mouth – a serious problem for your long-term oral health. Dry mouth creates a hospitable environment where plaque can grow unchecked. Without saliva to flush away food from your teeth and gums after eating, plaque has plenty of fuel to create acids that lead to cavities and an increased risk of gum disease.
The Perfect Low-Calorie Drink
On a hot day when you need a drink, there’s no better option than water. Drinking water to satiate your thirst means not drinking a soda, sports drink, or artificially sweetened fruit juice. Most beverages are loaded with sugar. Increased sugar consumption leads to an increased risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and weight gain. By drinking water, you satisfy your thirst without adding any additional sugar to your diet.
Increases Your Mouth’s pH
A healthy mouth requires maintaining the proper pH balance (the larger the number the less acidic). The pH level in your mouth should be 7.0, but eating acidic foods and beverages can increase that number. When the pH level in your mouth becomes too high, it contributes to the development of tooth decay and increases your risk for dental diseases.
Since drinking water works to neutralize acid, you can better maintain your mouth’s pH level by drinking more water throughout the day.
Freshens Your Breath
Bad breath is typically caused by bacteria and food particles that linger in the mouth after eating. While brushing your teeth after meals can help to prevent bad breath, you don’t always have the time or opportunity to brush at all times throughout the day. Fortunately, drinking water flushes these food particles out of the mouth before they can start to break down and decay.
Drinking more water offers several health benefits, especially for your teeth and gums. If you have any questions about the benefits of drinking water, feel free to ask your local dentist in Newberg the next time you see Dr. McLeod.
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