Most of us are more than aware that in order to maintain a healthy body both inside and out, we need to drink plenty of water. We strive for clear skin, elevated energy and mood levels whilst maintaining a healthy weight, and the easiest way to achieve each of these is to be stringent in monitoring our hydration levels. But how many of us are as savvy when it comes to our oral health? We all know that the easiest way to reduce the risk of cavities is to cut out or (at the very least) reduce the amount of sugars we consume, and to brush and floss twice daily, but some may be unaware that hydration plays a hugely significant role when it comes to keeping our mouths healthy.
As we generally have a habit of drinking when we’re thirsty, we can often overlook the benefit that drinking more water will have on our oral hygiene. When drinking, we’re flushing away the sugars and small particles of food which may have become lodged between our teeth. This will also help to reduce the risk of bad breath from decaying food debris.
Drinking plenty of water will help keep the volume of bad bacteria under control, which in turn will help to maintain a much healthier mouth. These bacteria are contributors to gum disease, so flushing them away regularly will help. It’s important to remember hydration at night time too as that’s the time when our mouths can become dry. Just because we’ve brushed our teeth before bedtime, it doesn’t mean we’re not susceptible to those nasty bacteria – they love to breed in warm and dry environments, so keeping a glass of water beside our beds to sip if we wake during the night is a good idea.
If you struggle to remember to drink the recommended 8 glasses a day, there are ways to help jog your memory! Invest in a water bottle to keep on your desk at work and set alarms on your phone every hour. By stretching your legs and walking to the water cooler, you’ll not only get your H2O fix, but you’ll keep the blood circulating through your body.
Contrary to common belief, there is one occasion when using water isn’t encouraged, and that’s when it comes to brushing our teeth! All dentists recommend using a good quality fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride helps to protect the tooth’s enamel surface, and will help to fight decay, so when brushing, it’s now recommended that you don’t rinse your mouth – just spit out the excess and leave the toothpaste in the mouth to ensure the maximum benefit of the fluoride is gained, and show those pearly whites!