Many of us have heard that we should sip water every 15 minutes, especially now during the time of COVID-19. The idea behind this is that, if the virus is present in your mouth, the water will push it down into your stomach, where the acid will kill it and prevent it from entering your lungs and wreaking havoc. In addition to preventing the coronavirus, frequently drinking water has plenty of other benefits, specifically in regard to your oral health. Here are just a few of them.
Water with Fluoride Can Strengthen Your Teeth
You might be familiar with fluoride, a mineral that occurs naturally in most water sources. This substance, when exposed to your teeth, makes your enamel stronger against the constant onslaught of food and bacteria in your mouth. In addition to being in your toothpaste and mouthwash, most tap water is fortified with fluoride. So, if you want to reap all the rewards from drinking water, make sure to opt for tap water, not bottled water.
Water Cleans Away Food Particles
When it comes to your teeth and gums (and really your whole body), water is just about the healthiest thing you can drink. It flushes any leftover bits of food out of your mouth. If these particles are left behind, bacteria in your mouth feed on them and leave behind a destructive waste product that destroys your enamel. This is what causes tooth decay. Swishing some water around in your mouth after a meal or snack can help wash away these particles and keep you from developing cavities.
Water Doesn’t Bathe Your Teeth in Sugar
Water is a great alternative to other sugary drinks like soda, fruit juices, or energy drinks. These beverages literally give your teeth a sugar bath, which attracts dangerous bacteria that result in problems like cavities, gum disease, and bad breath. In fact, water has the exact opposite effect. It cleanses your mouth, freshens your breath, and generally improves your oral health.
Besides keeping your body hydrated and possibly preventing you from contracting COVID-19, drinking water has all sorts of health benefits. Especially during this pandemic, it can’t hurt to sip some water every few minutes, just to be on the safe side.
About the Author
Dr. Angie Nauman is a dentist in Tulsa who has been practicing for almost 20 years. She is Board-Certified in both the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine and the American Sleep & Breathing Academy. Her practice, Glisten Dental, is currently closed for all non-emergency procedures. If you find yourself suffering from an intense toothache or broken tooth, give Dr. Nauman’s office a call at (918) 254-8686.