It is common knowledge that the human body is mostly water. As such, it makes perfect sense that drinking water is great for your health. When you are hydrated, all sorts of bodily processes operate more smoothly. Your skin glows, your muscles move, digestion is easier, your body more effectively distributes nutrients, and more. Drinking water is also, unsurprisingly, fantastic for your dental health. Here are some of the reasons that ditching your soft drink or fruit juice for a tall glass of water is a good idea:

Water Cleans Your Mouth

Every sip of water you take does more than just refresh you. Water washes away food residue, which would otherwise feed bacteria. The unmitigated spread of bacteria is what leads to cavities and other oral health problems. Water also dilutes the acids that bacteria in you mouth produce, which is great news – those acids like to eat away at your teeth.

Water Fortifies Your Teeth

Drinking water in the United States is treated with fluoride, a chemical compound that excels at fighting cavities. Fluoride prevents the growth of dangerous oral bacteria and helps repair damaged enamel. In fact, it often makes your enamel even stronger than before. Studies show that the presence of fluoride in water actually leads to stronger, healthier teeth in adulthood.

Water Diminishes Dry Mouth

Many patients are taken aback to learn that your mouth’s first line of defense against tooth decay is actually saliva. The natural lubricant your mouth produces washes away leftover food, makes swallowing easier, and effectively washes your teeth. Dry mouth, therefore, robs your teeth of these benefits and increases the risk of tooth decay. Drinking water reduces this risk, as it can help encourage saliva production to bring about all the good that your spit actually does you.

Water Is Better than the Alternatives

You have to drink something, so why water? TV commercials would have you believe that juice, soda, or sports drinks are okay options. Although fine in moderation, these beverages are absolutely packed with sugar. When you take a swig of your favorite one, those unwanted sugars coat the inside of your mouth, and not all of them get washed down. Cavity-causing bacteria absolutely love to eat sugar that is left over once you are finished with your drink. The byproduct of this sugar consumption is acid, which wears down your enamel and causes cavities. Opt for water as often as possible to minimize the risk of your favorite soft drink leading to problems at the dentist’s office.

About the Author

Dr. Harris has been a practicing dentist since 2005. In 2012, he received his Master’s of Science in Dentistry and a certificate in Endodontics. He founded East Coast Endodontics shortly after receiving his master’s degree. He also currently holds a part-time position as a Clinical Assistant Professor for the Endodontics department at Virginia Commonwealth University. View his full bio.