One important thing to remember in the summertime is to drink enough water. Despite the fact that the body is approximately 60% water, when as little as 2% of the body’s total water content is lost, you can suffer symptoms of dehydration. However, dehydration can be prevented by drinking at least eight 250 ml (8 oz.) glasses of water a day. Not only that, but drinking enough water daily can also benefit your oral health.
Although there are various other beverages out there that can technically keep you hydrated, only water can benefit both your overall and oral health. This is because water has a variety of oral health benefits that include:
Keeping the Mouth Clean
Drinking water is already beneficial compared to drinking other types of beverages that contain sugar or acid. This is because sugar feeds bacteria and acid wears down tooth enamel. Since water does not contain either of these things, it actually helps to flush bacteria, sugar, and food debris out of the mouth. This decreases the amount of food available for bacteria, which prevents bacterial populations from growing.
Prevents Dry Mouth
Dry mouth can occur when certain medications or medical conditions cause the body to decrease its saliva production. HOwever, dry mouth can be detrimental to your oral health because less saliva often means more bacteria and a higher acid concentration. The combination of these things can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. People with dry mouths can benefit from sipping water because it helps to promote saliva production and works to clean out the mouth to prevent bacteria from building up.
Strengthens the Enamel
Most drinking water sources contain fluoride, which is used in dental products as a way of decreasing the risk of tooth decay. Fluoride works by strengthening the tooth enamel, which makes it more resistant to erosion and tooth decay. Therefore, the more water you drink, the stronger your tooth enamel will be and the less likely you are to develop cavities.
Tips for Drinking Water
- Carry a water bottle with you everywhere you go. This way you are more likely to actually drink water when you are thirsty instead of drinking something else.
- Monitor how much water you drink on a daily basis and then set goals throughout the day to increase or maintain your water intake.
- Work on sipping water gradually throughout the day instead of gulping down large amounts all at once. Not only is water better absorbed when taken in slowly, but sipping water prevents you from feeling bloated.
- Try drinking water before and after every meal. This helps you to reach your total daily water intake. Drinking water before a meal helps to decrease the amount of food you eat, while drinking water after a meal helps to clean your mouth and rinse away food particles.
Dr. Admar holds dual certificates — a Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) in 2010 from India and a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) in 2014 from Canada. He is now a full time practicing dentist in Kamloops where he provides a variety of services, including emergency dentistry. Dr. Admar spends hundreds of hours in continued dental education to stay up to date in cosmetic and implant dentistry and he has achieved several advanced qualifications.