Our bodies are mostly water, making hydration vital for good health. Just a few of the important roles of water in the body include distributing nutrients, help keeps the blood moving smoothly inside, and keeping the body cooled off. Another important job done by water that many people don’t know about is keeping the mouth healthy. Here are some of the most studied ways that drinking water benefits the mouth.
Water is a cleanser that comes into the mouth and washes away unwanted particles in the mouth. One of the most unwanted substances it washes away is the extra sugar that is left on your teeth after eating. Food creates an acid in your mouth to aid in digestion, but when food stays too long, the acid stays and weakens the enamel.
Drinking water is especially helpful at meals. When you drink with sodas, juice, or teas at meals, the acid is not washed away from the bacteria. In fact, many of these drinks have added acids to help make them taste sweeter. Water also helps to neutralize the amount of acid in your mouth overall. Drinking water is very important to maintaining balance in your mouth.
Fights Tooth Decay
Clean, safe drinking water is very important to everyone, but especially developing children. Access to a fluoridated water supply is even better for many of these kids. Areas where they have water treated with fluoride have residents with stronger teeth and less cavities overall. Adults benefit from this water as well, but during the developmental ages, it is especially important. Having this type of water is helpful to fighting more than just tooth decay, but also helps prevent tooth loss, gum disease, and oral cancer later in life. These are problems that are shown to increase in areas where access to good water in limited in the United States and around the world.
Fighting Dry Mouth
The body is designed to have natural defenders from harmful substances. Too much bacteria in the mouth leads to tooth decay and is naturally fought with saliva. If the mouth is not hydrated enough, the bacteria builds up too quickly for the body to fight it off. One of the side effects of many medications is having a dry mouth. This is especially harmful to your mouth because it needs a certain amount of saliva to keep teeth strong. During these times, drinking water is extra protection or your mouth, especially when it is fortified with fluoride.
Drinking water is important for good health all over your body. It is recommended that you try to drink at least 8 glasses a day to keep your hydration levels optimal. If you are active or have problems with a dry mouth, try drinking more than that each day. For children, make sure they are drinking enough water each day, including meal time. You will find that in addition to brushing and flossing regularly, your mouth will feel better and healthier when you drink enough of the right kind of water each day.