Drinking water is a well-known way of maintaining a healthy oral condition. With regular brushing and flossing, water is one of the best methods to prevent cavities and gum disease. However, not all water is good for your teeth and gums. In fact, the quality of your drinking water and the types of water you drink can greatly affect your teeth, either positively or negatively.
In this blog, we are going to talk about how the quality of drinking water affects your teeth and what is the best type of water for your oral health.
How Drinking Water Is Good for Teeth
Many people know drinking water is good for teeth, but what exactly drinking water can benefit our oral health? Below is an overview of the major advantages.
Keeps Mouth Clean
The first benefit of drinking water is the ability to keep the mouth clean. We all tend to have some kind of beverage when enjoying our meals. Of course, it is nice to have juice or soda, yet, these sugary beverages can leave the undesirable sugar behind on the teeth, which is the perfect growing environment for the cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth. This type of bacteria loves sugar and produces acid that destroys the teeth enamel. Besides that, many of the beverages contain acids for additional flavor and taste, which can also lead to enamel erosion.
Water, on the other hand, cleans your teeth by rinsing away harmful bacteria and leftover food. Since plaques could not build up in a clean and hydrated mouth, drinking water is the easiest way to keep your mouth clean.
Prevents Dry Mouth
Saliva is the first defence wall against tooth decay in your mouth. It helps to wash away food debris and fight against cavity-causing bacteria. Saliva also contains many minerals that help to strengthen and rebuild enamel. When the saliva supply in the mouth runs low, the dry mouth condition would lead to plaque buildup as tooth decay. Drinking water is essential for the prevention of dry mouth as water can keep the mouth hydrated and stimulate saliva production.
Restores Teeth Enamel
Many dentists have suggested that drinking water with trace amounts of fluoride is one of the most effective ways to prevent cavities. A proper amount of minerals and fluoride in the drinking water help to strengthen and restore tooth enamel.
Different Types of Drinking Water
As we have mentioned above, the drinking water types can affect our teeth differently. The following section will talk about the common types of drinking water and their effects on teeth.
A great number of dentists have suggested that the standard U.S. tap water is good for the patients to use as a drinking water source.
The tap water in the U.S. has been fluoridated under specific regulations by the EPA. Fluoride in drinking water can help reduce the risk of cavity occurrence for both adults and children. Though fluoride itself cannot cure or reverse the existing tooth decay, it is proved to be effective for cavity prevention.
Tap water also contains beneficial minerals include calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous, which are good elements for oral health.
Many people opt for sparkling water over soda or other sugary beverages. Well, sparkling water is definitely much less harmful and erosive than other soft drinks, it is not certainly good for your teeth. Sparkling water or any carbonated water is still more acidic than tap water, though the level of acidity is not strong enough to cause any harm.
If you need to choose water as the main drinking water throughout the day, then please choose still water over sparkling water for the long term health perspective. After all, minor effects could add up.
People in the U.S. consume a huge amount of bottled water. Reports show that the average yearly consumption of bottled water per person is about 30 gallons, which is about four bottles every week. One big reason for the bottled water purchase is water safety. However, bottled water is not as “safe” as you might think.
Unlike the tap water that’s regulated by the EPA and other authorities, bottled water is a food product under the FDA standards, which are not as strict as the city water standards. From the oral health point, most bottled water lacks fluoride, a critical substance for dental health as we have discussed above. Friendly reminder that tap water isn’t the only source of fluoride. It can be found naturally in some foods and as a key component in most toothpaste.
Distilled water is the pure form of water that devoid of any impurities including chemicals and minerals. Though distilled water is known for its safety, it could not provide any help to your teeth. Like we have mentioned in the previous sections, fluoride and other minerals are the essential elements in protecting your teeth from cavity and tooth decay. Since distilled water is mainly pure H2O, you would need to do extra work to protect your teeth.
Well water is normally hard, meaning it contains abundant minerals. There’s no scientific evidence showing that hard water is bad for your health, yet, hard water does affect the water taste and contribute to the scale build-up in home appliances. Then use of a water filter for well water is necessary here.
From a teeth health standpoint, the rich minerals in well water can protect teeth. If you are taking well water, it is highly recommended to get the well water tested and check how much fluoride is in the water. Too low containing level of fluoride offers no help to your teeth and too high levels of fluoride could cause the discoloration of teeth.