We all know we need water to live, however many people don’t know about the amazing powers of water. Our bodies are made up of 60 percent water. Drinking water throughout your day assist in distributing nutrients throughout your body and gets rid of waste from our system. As an added benefit, it helps give our skin a healthy glow and keeps are muscles hydrated for top performance.
What people are less familiar with is the benefits that water can provide for your teeth. Drinking the required 2 liters per day will help in the battle to maintain good dental health.
Water Keeps Your Mouth Clean
Your mouth has lots of bacteria. That bacteria in your mouth loves to eat sugar and produce acid that wears away enamel. Most drinks such as soda, juice or sport drinks are loaded with sugar. Many of these drinks also have added acids (phosphoric, citrus or malic acid) to make them taste less sweet, but those acids also eat away at your teeth.
Drinking lots of water washes away bacteria and dilutes acids in your mouth with each sip. It also washes away leftover food and residue that cavity-causing bacteria are looking for. Many of us don’t carry a toothbrush throughout our day to brush after every meal. So when in a pinch, sip on some water until you can thoroughly brush later in the day.
Water Keeps Your Mouth Hydrated
A dry mouth breads and multiplies the bacteria in your mouth. That bacteria eats away the enamel of your teeth. Drinking water keeps your mouth hydrated and washes away harmful bacteria and dilutes acids in your mouth.
Drinking Water with Fluoride Strengthens Your Teeth
Drinking water with fluoride is a great way to strengthen your teeth. Per the ADA, Water fluoridation is safe, effective and healthy. Seventy years of research, thousands of studies and the experience of more than 210 million Americans tell us that water fluoridation is effective in preventing cavities and is safe for children and adults.
Fluoride is the name given to a group of compounds that are composed of fluorine and one other elements. Fluorides are present naturally in water and soil at different levels.
In the 1940s, scientists became aware that people living near drinking water supplies had naturally occurring fluoride levels of approximately 1 part fluoride per million parts water or greater had fewer dental cavities. Many studies over the past 70 years have supported this finding (1).
It was later found that fluoride can prevent and even reverse tooth decay by hindering bacteria that produce acid in the mouth. It also boost remineralization, the process through which tooth enamel is “rebuilt” after it begins to decay (1, 2).
In addition to building up in teeth, ingested fluoride accumulates in bones. Moderate amounts prevent dental caries (cavities), but long-term ingestion of large amounts can lead to potentially severe skeletal problems. The control of drinking-water quality is therefore critical in preventing fluorosis and only providing help for dental cavities.
What is water fluoridation?
Water fluoridation is the process of adding fluoride to the water supply so the level reaches approximately 0.7 ppm, or 0.7 milligrams of fluoride per liter of water; this is the optimal level for preventing tooth decay (1).
Fluoridating the water began in 1945 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. They adjusted the fluoride content of its water supply to 1.0 ppm and thus became the first city to implement community water fluoridation. By 2008, more than 72 percent of the U.S. population served by public water systems had access to fluoridated water (3).More than 70 years of scientific research has consistently shown that an optimal level of fluoride in community water is safe and effective in preventing tooth decay by at least 25% in both children and adults. Simply by drinking water, Americans can benefit from fluoride’s cavity protection whether they are at home, work or school. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention named community water fluoridation one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.
Where can people find additional information on fluoridated water?
The CDC has information on standards for and surveillance of current fluoridated water supplies in the United States.The Environmental Protection Agency can provide more information about drinking water and health, including details about drinking water quality and safety standards.