February is Children’s Dental Health Month. Here at our office, we take kids dental health seriously. Dental experts agree that building good oral care habits should begin as early as possible to create a foundation for a lifetime. In addition to the basics of daily routine dental care, as well as regular office check-ups (which I discussed in a previous blog), there is one decision that makes a big impact on kids oral health. And that is drinking tap water instead of sugary drinks.
Here Are Four Reasons Water is the Best Beverage for Your Teeth
It doesn’t matter if your glass is half-empty or half-full: Drinking water is always good for your health. Our bodies are made of 60% water, and staying hydrated helps your system distribute healthy nutrients, gets rid of waste, gives your skin a healthy glow and keeps your muscles moving. Sipping water is also one of the best things you can do for your teeth – especially if it’s fluoridated. Read on to find out why water is always a winner for your dental health.
1. It Strengthens Your Teeth
Drinking water with fluoride (called “nature’s cavity fighter”) is one of the easiest and most beneficial things you can do to help prevent cavities. Researchers in Canada reported in 2016 that children in a city with non-fluoridated water had more tooth decay than children in a city with uninterrupted fluoridation.
2. It Keeps Your Mouth Clean
Drinking juice, soda or sports drinks can leave unwanted sugar behind on your teeth. The cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth love to eat sugar and produce acid that wears away tooth enamel. Many of these drinks also have added acids which also eat away at your teeth.
Water, however, cleans your mouth with every sip. It washes away leftover food and residue that cavity-causing bacteria are looking for. It also dilutes the acids produced by the bacteria in your mouth. You’ll still need to brush twice a day for two minutes and clean between your teeth, but drinking water throughout the day will go a long way toward keeping your smile cavity-free.
3. It Fights Dry Mouth
Saliva is your mouth’s first defense against tooth decay. It washes away leftover food, helps you swallow with ease and keeps your teeth strong by washing them with calcium, phosphate and fluoride. When your saliva supply runs low, dry mouth may put you at risk for tooth decay. Drinking water can help cut your risk as you and your dentist work to find the best long-term solution for you.
4. It’s Calorie-Free
Sweetened drinks that are high in sugar and calories, create a perfect storm that puts you at risk for cavities and other unhealthy consequences like weight gain. In fact, studies have shown that drinking water can actually help you lose weight.
So the next time your kids need a drink, help them make the best choice for their dental health by getting them to — Drink Tap Water for a Sparkling Smile!