“Do you drink enough water?”
A simple question that I ask all of my clients at Nova Dental. I can normally tell looking at their lips and skin what the answer will be. The most common reply is ‘no’.
I’m too busy, I just forget, I don’t like the taste…. many of the replies that I hear and understand.
But drinking simple water is really important to your teeth, gums and overall health.
Firstly, you need plenty of water so the saliva in your mouth works to its full capacity. Saliva needs to be wet to work and it has some really important functions to perform:
- It provides lubrication between the teeth and soft tissues so you don’t damage yourself. Teeth can actually be super sharp and the saliva helps those sharp edges glide over the cheeks, lips and tongue.
- It provides some protection against tooth decay with antimicrobial agents such as lysozyme, peroxidase and lactoferrin.
- It provides remineralising agents for the teeth like calcium and phosphorus.
- It helps to keep the teeth wet, so plaque and calculus has a harder time sticking to your teeth.
- It’s the first stage of the digestive enzymes with amylase helping to break down starches.
- It helps with swallowing and speech. Try either of these with a really dry mouth!
Dentistry is more than just teeth, so drinking plenty of water can also help in other ways.
- Helps to hydrate your lips
- Helps with headaches caused by dehydration
- Promotes healthy skin
- Helps your muscles, especially when fatiqued
- Helps your brain function better
In Australia around 90% of our tap water has fluoride added to it. Flouride in water has been hailed as one of the great health achievements of the 20th century. It helps to dramatically reduce decay (around 25%) in adults and children. Fluoride in the water is recommended by the ADA, WHO, NHMRC and the AMA.
So how do you drink or consume more water? Here’s some suggestions clients and I discuss:
- Eat more foods that are high in water content like fruit and vegetables
- Make a conscious effort to drink more water
- Use a phone app to track water consumption
- Carry a water bottle with you; have a bottle at your work station. I would encourage you to obtain a reusable bottle. There are so many cool and gorgeous designs around that cater to all tastes.
- Use a larger water bottle
- Start the day with a large glass (or two) of water
- Create a habit like having a glass of water after going to the bathroom
- Rehydrate during and after exercising
As I say to my clients; do your mouth a favour and stay hydrated. Drink water, water and more water!