Water. H2O. Aqua. No matter what you may choose to call the life supporting liquid, consuming a healthy amount of the beverage is essential to well being and dental care. Water is the main component of the human body and when consumed it is vital for fighting dehydration, aiding in metabolism and transporting nutrients and oxygen throughout all cells. According to the Mayo Clinic, doctors advise individuals to drink 8 or 9 cups daily. In regards to oral health, the type of water consumed is equally important.
Community water fluoridation has been a public health program initiated by the nation for more than 60 years. The process of adding trace amounts of fluoride to community water supplies has been implemented as a way to reduce cavities in children (cavities represent the most preventable chronic childhood epidemic in the U.S.). Since the fluoridation program kicked into gear starting in the 1960s, the move has been cited as the most effective public health measure preventing tooth decay.
The odds of developing chronic bad breath, tooth erosion, dry mouth and dental caries are lessened with water consumption for a variety of reasons. Water will naturally moisturize a mouth and can help wash away sugar residue left behind after eating and drinking. With less sugar lingering about, there is less food for oral bacteria and therefore a reduction of the tooth destroying by-product, acid. That is why choosing the right kind of water is just as important as making sure the right amounts are consumed daily.
Americans have a love affair with bottled water and spend $15 billion dollars on the product annually. However the majority of bottled water is nothing more than treated municipal tap water made pretty and then sold to the public at premium prices. Bottled spring water has no additional nutritional benefits to brag about and will lack the bonus fluoride associated with the free water provided by community services. Parents who rely solely on giving their children bottled water can increase the chances of their children developing cavities.
The problem can get worse for children who are allowed to drink directly from the bottle and are allowed to suck on the container with no parental intervention. Children who continually suck on bottles have the added risk factor of developing speech and dental problems as the device may cause malocclusion. The constant presence of a bottle can cause front teeth to slant out, bottom front teeth to tilt in, create an overbite while narrowing the roof of the mouth. Showing parental love with a sippy cup filled to the brim with fresh, clean tap-water is the smartest choice.
Flavored water is the latest twist on the bottled water game and while the beverage can indeed add fluid and additional nutrition to a person's diet, it can also add unwanted calories, sugars and vitamins known for wreaking havoc on tooth enamel. The sugars can lead to cavities and flavored water containing the added boost of Vitamin C can cause bigger issues.
Vitamin C is a powerful nutrient known for boosting immune systems and helping fight the common cold. However, "Studies have shown that consuming Vitamin C in excess of the recommended daily allowance (75-95mg per day) can have a negative effect on teeth, causing a condition known as extrinsic dental erosion," (www.1800Dentist.com). The high levels of acid associated with Vitamin C supplements are the most likely culprits for the conditions.
While some individuals fancy a squeeze of fresh lemon in their water, that additive is also associated with a dental risk. Lemon is naturally high in acid. Consuming too much lemon juice will allow the acid component to whittle away at tooth enamel and expose underlying dentin. As a result, teeth will be vulnerable to tooth decay and sensitivity. It is important to note that tooth enamel erosion is one of a leading contributor to dental caries and missing teeth.
Regardless of if water contains fluoride or not, drinking clean, fresh, unflavored water is the best overall method to reducing dental problems. That behavior combined with the practices of brushing, flossing, regular dental exams and cleanings make-up the winning combination for improved oral health. Individuals looking for a dentist to become their oral health team leader can count on 1-800-Dentist to connect them to a qualified practitioner simply by dialing 1-866-970-9853.