The Role of Water in Oral Hygiene: Staying Hydrated for a Healthy Mouth

The role of water in oral hygiene: Staying hydrated for a healthy mouth
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Everyone knows brushing teeth and flossing is important for a healthy mouth. However, did you know that water also plays an essential role?

Drinking enough water is crucial for the health of your mouth. It helps prevent tooth decay, restrict bacterial growth, prevent staining, and strengthen teeth. Staying hydrated also promotes saliva production and, in the process, combats dry mouth.

By drinking water throughout the day to stay hydrated, you’re helping keep your mouth healthy!

The Importance of Drinking More Water

We all know that water is a requirement for life. Humans can go without food for days; however, we quickly die from dehydration without water. Although we get some water from the food we eat, it’s still extremely important to ensure that we’re drinking enough water daily.

In the heat of summer, you need to consume more water because of sweating. When you sweat, you lose precious fluids. This means you must meet or exceed the recommended daily water intake to keep your body operating at peak efficiency.

Every cell and organ in our body requires water for proper functioning. Water also plays a crucial role in distributing nutritious nutrients, waste disposal, muscle activity, and keeping your skin hydrated.

Dehydration even impairs long-term and short-term memory, in addition to impairing attention and affecting mood. Furthermore, consuming water helps keep your teeth healthy.

How Water Impacts Your Oral Health

Water Cleanses the Mouth

Water acts like a natural mouthwash, flushing the mouth of lingering food residues, leftover sugars, plaque, and bacteria. Every time you take a gulp, you wash away particles that otherwise harm your oral health.

Bacterial growth is something that needs to be managed throughout the day, especially after meals. Whenever you eat, bits of food get stuck in your mouth, between your teeth, and along your gum line. These bits are often too small to see; however, they’re the perfect size for the bacteria in your mouth.

This naturally occurring bacteria can be a real problem. As it feeds on the residue, it produces acid and plaque. If not removed, the plaque and acids attack your tooth enamel and, eventually, cause tooth decay. Drinking water helps combat this troublesome process.

Water Combats Dry Mouth

Staying hydrated is crucial for many important bodily processes, like saliva production. When you don’t drink enough water, saliva production decreases, and you end up with dry mouth. After all, saliva is 99% water!

Saliva is also our body’s natural defence against tooth decay. It neutralizes harmful acids in the mouth and washes away food debris. As you now know, lingering acid and food particles promote tooth decay. Acid eats away at your precious tooth enamel. Other residue feeds the oral bacteria, resulting in more plaque and acid.

Therefore, saliva has an important job to do. So, you need to do your part to ensure that your mouth has enough of it. That’s where drinking water comes in.

Drinking water frequently encourages adequate saliva production, hydrates the oral tissues, and helps your mouth remain moist. Additionally, saliva keeps your teeth strong by bathing them in calcium and phosphate ions. Ultimately, a hydrated mouth is less hospitable to harmful bacteria.

Water Strengthens Your Teeth

Tap water has a unique superpower: fluoride. We fortify tap water with fluoride because it significantly improves our oral health. When fluoride comes in contact with tooth enamel, it deposits in areas where the enamel has thinned and weakened.

These spots are often a result of acid attacks from the oral bacteria. The fluoride reinforces and strengthens these regions in a process called remineralization. It makes our teeth less susceptible to decay and cavities.

In fact, studies have found that fluoride reduces the chances of tooth decay by over 50%.

That being said, overconsumption of fluoride can also be a problem. It can lead to dental fluorosis, a cosmetic issue where white spots appear on the teeth. So, everything must be taken in moderation.

The benefits of fluoride outweigh the risks of dental fluorosis. Although there has been some controversy surrounding fluoridated water, international health organizations (like the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) maintain that fluoride is safe and health-promoting.

Water Helps Prevent Staining

Drinking enough water also has cosmetic advantages. Everyone wants a bright and white smile that makes you feel confident and eager to laugh! Maintaining a glowing smile requires a consistent oral hygiene regime, although that isn’t always enough.

Our teeth naturally fade and discolour over time. Aging alone affects the brightness and colour of your smile, but so do certain lifestyle choices, like drinking coffee, tea, or red wine. (Smoking also causes tooth discolouration, as well as other serious health conditions.)

You can mitigate the staining effects of these beverages by drinking water. Every time you sip coffee or wine, take another sip of water. This helps flush away the chemicals that can cause your teeth to fade and discolour.

Water Is Sugar-Free

Unlike practically every other beverage out there, water is free from sugar. This is a huge advantage! It also helps make water the best option for quenching thirst and staying hydrated.

Whenever you take a sip of a sweet beverage, you’re bathing your teeth in sugar. As you do so, you’re increasing your risk of tooth decay and cavities. Even fruit juice, which seems healthy at first glance, can compromise your oral health if over-consumed. You should also consume pop, sports drinks, and alcoholic beverages in moderation.

Therefore, instead of reaching for that sugary drink, choose water!

Contact Bristol Dental Clinic for a Dental Office in Mississauga

Bristol Dental Clinic is proud to provide excellent oral care to our Mississauga patients. We combine the latest dental technologies with an extremely knowledgeable team of dental professionals to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Our comprehensive services include general, cosmetic, orthodontic, endodontic, periodontal, and prosthodontic dentistry.

To book an appointment at our dental office in Mississauga, call Bristol Dental Clinic at 866-673-2109 or contact us here.

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