You’ve probably heard that drinking water can keep your body healthy, help clear up your skin, rejuvenate your muscles, get rid of waste, etc. There are so many benefits to stay hydrated and many of them are widely known. Essentially, there’s no better drink than water, and it makes sense with our bodies being 60% water. What sometimes isn’t known is how great drinking water is for your oral health. A simple and easy way to help keep your teeth healthy and strong is to drink more water!
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Stay Hydrated: Oral Health Benefits of Drinking Water
There are plenty of reasons to drink water and knowing how big of an effect water can have on our oral health makes it even more imperative to staying hydrated by drinking water every day. Drinking water is not only essential for overall health but also plays a significant role in maintaining good oral health. Here are some ways in which water benefits your teeth and oral hygiene:
- Neutralizes Acids: Water helps to neutralize the acids produced by bacteria in the mouth. When we eat or drink sugary or acidic substances, the bacteria in our mouths produce acid as a byproduct, which can erode tooth enamel. Drinking water can help wash away some of these acids and minimize their harmful effects on our teeth. Learn more about Oral Bacteria and Your Smile
- Promotes Saliva Production: Staying hydrated encourages the production of saliva. Saliva is crucial for oral health because it helps to wash away food particles, plaque, and bacteria that can lead to cavities and gum disease. Saliva also contains minerals that aid in remineralizing teeth and preventing tooth decay.
- Prevents Dry Mouth: Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, is a condition in which there is an insufficient production of saliva. This can lead to various oral health issues as saliva is essential for protecting the teeth and gums. Drinking water can help combat dry mouth by promoting saliva flow.
- Reduces Bad Breath: Bad breath or halitosis can be caused by bacteria in the mouth. Drinking water helps to flush out food particles and bacteria, reducing the sources of bad breath.
- No Sugars or Acids: Unlike sugary beverages like soda, fruit juices, or sports drinks, water does not contain sugars or acids that can harm tooth enamel and contribute to tooth decay.
- Cost-Effective and Convenient: Water is easily accessible and often available for free, making it a cost-effective and convenient option for maintaining oral health.
- Helps with Orthodontic Care: For individuals with braces or other orthodontic appliances, drinking water can help to dislodge food particles that may get stuck in and around the braces, reducing the risk of decay and gum problems.
It’s important to note that while water is excellent for oral health, it should not replace regular oral hygiene practices like brushing and flossing. Drinking water complements a good oral care routine and a balanced diet. Limiting the consumption of sugary and acidic beverages and maintaining regular dental check-ups are also crucial for a healthy smile.
Water is indeed one of the best drinks for your overall and oral health. Its numerous benefits make it an easy and effective way to support strong teeth and a healthy mouth.
Related Article: Preventative Dentistry for Kids: Dental Health for Healthy Smiles
Stay Hydrated: 10 Reasons Kids Need to Drink Water
Why is it important to stay hydrated and drink water? Here are 10 reasons for you and your kids to drink plenty of water every single day:
Hydration Benefit #1: Water Eliminates Dehydration
Water helps kids stay hydrated–which is important for their brains to work and for them to stay healthy! Dehydration means that your body doesn’t have enough water to function properly. Seventy-five percent of people (including children) are chronically dehydrated.
Even mild dehydration will:
- cause your child to feel grumpy or tired
- slow down your child’s metabolism as much as 3% and cause fatigue
- give your child headaches
The human body has no stored water to draw on during dehydration so it’s vitally important that your child drinks water throughout the day.
Suggestion: Dehydration can happen very quickly—keep water with you in the car for thirsty kids. If they play sports or are involved in strenuous extra-curricular activities, send them with plenty of water in their backpacks.
If your children come home from school grumpy or tired—give them a glass of water.
Hydration Benefit #2: Water Helps Kids Suffering from Asthma and Allergies
Your children need water for their cells to grow. As they grow, 75% of the cell volume must be filled with water. This is one reason why children develop asthma and allergies during the growth stage of their physical development–they don’t have enough water for their body systems to function. Some research indicates that asthma can be caused by chronic dehydration and by increasing water and adding a bit of salt to the tongue, asthma coughing disappears.
Kids are also susceptible to allergies if they increase their food intake but not their water intake.
Suggestion: If you have a child who suffers from asthma or allergies, water obviously will help. Kids with allergies should drink a glass of water BEFORE eating food. And kids with asthma need to drink more water. They also need to stop drinking sodas containing caffeine and reduce their orange juice consumption which can trigger an allergic reaction in some children.
Hydration Benefit #3: Water Lessens Hunger Pains
In a University of Washington study, it was discovered that dieters who drink one glass of water before bed will shut down late-night hunger pains by almost 100%! Drinking water helps separate the feelings of thirst and hunger. Thirty-seven percent of Americans suffer from a very weak thirst mechanism. In fact, it is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger. Many kids and parents who feel hungry are really in need of water.
Suggestion: Does your child get up at night complaining of hunger or thirst? If so, either give him/her a glass of water an hour before bedtime or even 30 minutes before bed. If they get up feeling hungry or thirsty—give them another glass of water. You’re probably thinking, “they are going to be up all night going to the bathroom.” Possibly, but if your child’s body is in need of water, the water they drink will be used to replenish their organs and cells.
Related Article: Oral Health: Mouth-Healthy Foods to include in your diet
Hydration Benefit #4: Water Reduces Fatigue and Helps Kids Learn
When your kids are thirsty, they get tired very easily. In fact, studies show that not replenishing the body with water is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.
Kids in school need water to help:
- It is needed for sustained focus energy
- Keep their brains alive and working
- Water gives a child electrical energy for brain functions, particularly thinking.
- Water can also help prevent attention deficit disorder in children (and adults). In fact, kids who drink plenty of water, their attention spans increase.
- Water integrates mind and body functions. It helps kids and teens with the desire to make goals and have a purpose. Hard to believe that water can do this–but research indicates it can and does!
Suggestion: Send bottled water with your children to school. Let their teachers know exactly why you are doing this. If they don’t understand, encourage them to read the research connecting water to learning.
Hydration Benefit #5: Drink Water to Ease Growing Pains & Back and Joint Pains
Back, joint and muscle pain are not relegated to the aging. It can also happen to your kids. Growing pains are common among children. Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day can significantly ease back, joint and muscle pain for up to 80% of sufferers.
Suggestion: If your kids are experiencing growing pains, give them plenty of water throughout the day and a glass of water about one hour prior to them going to bed (so they can empty their bladder before they nod off). It should help.
Hydration Benefit #6: Drinking Water Helps with Short-term Memory
Did you know that a mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory? It can also cause kids to have problems understanding basic math, and have difficulty focusing on a computer screen or printed page in a book. Drinking water every day can help prevent memory loss well into old age.
Suggestion: Before starting their homework, make certain your kids have had a big glass of water to drink. And as mentioned above, send them to school with a bottle of water. It’s necessary for their memories and learning.
Hydration Benefit #7: Water Decreases the Risk of Certain Cancers
Drinking water can help ward off certain cancers. For instance:
- Drinking 5 glasses of water daily help to decrease the risk of colon cancer by 45%
- Drinking 5 glasses of water each day can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79%
- When a person drinks at least 5 glasses of water a day, they are 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer
Water also helps to normalize the blood-manufacturing system in the bone marrow which helps prevent childhood leukemia and lymphoma.
Suggestion: Although some of these forms of cancer are not cancers common in children, it’s a good idea to get your kids in the habit of drinking plenty of water every day. It just may help prevent certain cancers when they are adults because water keeps the immune system working at peak performance and can fight infections and cancer cells where they are formed.
Related Article: Oral Cancer and Gum Disease: Early Detection Can Save Your Life
Hydration Benefit #8: Sip or Guzzle?
If your child sips water throughout the day, they will keep their systems hydrated and their abilities to learn and function will substantially increase. If they guzzle water (drinking it very rapidly) they will cleanse their systems. Both are helpful for their bodies and minds.
Suggestion: Either sipping or guzzling water is good for your child’s health.
Hydration Benefit #9: Drinking Soda, Juice or Milk Doesn’t Count Toward Water Intake
Many parents think that as long as their child is getting some form of liquid (milk, juice, soda) in their systems, they will be hydrated. This is partially correct. However, sodas and juices are loaded with sugar and sugar drains water from the colon and can cause constipation and/or diarrhea. Plus, the sodium in sodas increases dehydration. Kids don’t need excess salt or sugar in their diets. It impedes their ability to learn. They need water.
Suggestion: Make water your family’s #1 beverage choice. You’ll be glad you did. You will notice your children having sustained, focused energy; their brains will work better and more efficiently which all translates into a healthier more positive learning experience.
Hydration Benefit #10: Drinking Water Helps Clear Teen Skin
When your kids get to be teens, they will be concerned about their skin. Having healthy, acne-free skin is important for teens and their self-esteem. There are many reasons for teen acne, but several things that can help is drinking plenty of water, giving up sodas and eating plenty of fruits and veggies. Fruits and veggies are loaded with water and will help clean out the cells.
Drinking water every day will help improve your teen’s skin by:
- eliminating toxins from the body
- flushing out the system
- hydrating the skin
- making the skin smoother
- decreasing the effects of aging
These tips and additional information can be found in the article titled: 10 Amazing Benefits of Drinking Water and How it Makes Kids Smarter
GPS Dental Can Help You Have a Healthy Smile
As you know, it’s important for everyone to have a solid foundation of oral health habits. Not only does that include brushing and flossing daily, but also having healthy habits — including the need to stay hydrated by drinking water! Dr. Skrobanek and his Team love to talk about dental health and look forward to answering any of your questions during your next dental appointment.
Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek’s experienced and friendly team at GPS Dental offers affordable dental care for all ages in San Antonio, TX area. Our Brooks City Base dentist office is conveniently located and offers early morning appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At GPS Dental, we promote dental health awareness to our patients and provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to dental implants, sleep apnea, TMJ / TMD Treatment, cosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at 210-633-3477 to make an appointment.