Drink This Hydrating Beverage To Improve Your Dental Health

When you think of dental health, you usually always come back to brushing and flossing because that's what we were told (constantly) as kids and right into adulthood. It's important to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss for extra-clean and healthy teeth.

But turns out, there's a hydrating beverage we can all drink for better oral health, too — water. When you drink water every day, you're not only keeping your body sufficiently hydrated, but you're also washing away all the leftover food particles that stay stuck in your teeth. This is especially essential if you want to avoid cavities. Cavities are a byproduct of acid that forms from bacteria in your mouth that eat food pieces (per University of Illinois Chicago). The acid erodes tooth enamel which results in cavities. 

Drinking water also prevents dry mouth — a condition that results in not having sufficient saliva in your mouth. Contrary to what you might think, saliva actually serves a purpose when it comes to your oral health. It keeps your mouth lubricated, neutralizes harmful acids, prevents bad breath, and protects you from gum disease and tooth decay, per Delta Dental. Keeping yourself hydrated with water means you're optimizing saliva production and therefore protecting your mouth against all of these oral issues. 

The fluoride in water is also good for your teeth

The fluoride found in many water sources is another powerful defense against tooth decay (via Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Fluoride works by strengthening your tooth's surface —the enamel. 

There's a lot going in your mouth that wastes away at your tooth enamel — the acids from bacteria as we mentioned before and plaque buildup being some of them. Drinking water that contains fluoride can prevent this by giving your teeth that extra layer of protection. 

Also, if you haven't guessed already, drinking water keeps your mouth generally clean. Yes, you have to brush your teeth in the morning and at night for good dental health, but sipping on water after meals and throughout the day can ensure that you don't have harmful concentrations of bacteria in your mouth. 

Now that you know that skimping on hydration is one of the mistakes you didn't realize you were making with your oral health, what kind of water should you be drinking for the health of your teeth? And what beverages should you be avoiding?

More alkaline, less acidic beverages are best for dental health

According to the founder of Minti Oral Care, Dr. Onaedo Achebe (Well+Good), beverages that are too acidic can wreak havoc on your teeth. "Water with a pH below seven is considered acidic, while water above seven is considered alkaline. In general, water with a pH level between 7.5 and 8.5 is considered the safest for dental health," explained the dentist. So this means, you're good with natural spring water, alkaline water, or filtered tap water. 

As for beverages, you should be mindful of when it comes to oral health, the list includes sugary and acidic drinks such as carbonated drinks like sodas, sports drinks, fruit juices, certain alcoholic beverages like white wine and low-pH vodka, sparkling water, and low-pH teas. Even energy drinks can ruin your gum and teeth health

Ultimately, good dental hygiene is an amalgamation of what you should be eating for strong teeth, what you should be avoiding to prevent tooth decay, how mindful you are about brushing and flossing, and also how much you're hydrating with water. Even if you were to consume sugary drinks once in a while, make sure you drink some water right after to flush out any lingering sugars.