The average adult is advised to consume between 90 and 120 ounces of water daily, according to the Mayo Clinic and Harvard Medical School. That’s actually more than the traditional “8 glasses of water a day”, assuming you use an 8 ounce glass. Some of that water can come from other sources, such as the food you eat or other beverages, but at the end of the day, consuming some amount of plain water is good for you. Water helps to regulate your body temperature, eliminate toxins, maintain your skin, and protect your joints and organs. The kind of water you drink can also affect your dental health, dependent on its composition. Let’s delve into the ways various water affects your oral health.
- Benefits: Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel, making it more resistant to decay. So, fluoridation of public water supplies is a practice encouraged by numerous health and dental organizations worldwide.
- Concerns: Moderate amounts of fluoride are healthy, however, many people no longer consume tap water, and thus miss out on this added benefit to many municipal water supplies.
- Benefits: Bottled water is a cleaner alternative in areas where tap water might be contaminated.
- Concerns: Most bottled water does not contain optimal levels of fluoride, which can be a drawback for dental health. If bottled water becomes a primary drinking source, it might not provide the cavity protection that fluoridated tap water offers.
- Benefits: Distillation removes impurities, offering pure water without contaminants.
- Concerns: Along with impurities, the distillation process also removes fluoride, making it less beneficial for dental health.
- Benefits: Well water comes from a known supply, if the user owns the well.
- Concerns: The fluoride content in well water varies. In some cases, there might be overly high natural fluoride levels, leading to the risk of fluorosis. Conversely, it might also have insufficient fluoride, offering less protection against cavities. Testing well water regularly is recommended to determine the content of fluoride and other minerals and compounds.
- Benefits: Alkaline water is thought by some to counteract body and mouth acidity, which could diminish the chances of cavity formation due to acidic conditions.
- Concerns: Scientific backing for these assertions is sparse. Drinking it excessively, especially if the water exhibits an extremely high pH, might also result in dental wear.
Hard vs. Soft Water
- Hard Water: Contains higher mineral content, particularly calcium and magnesium. While hard water contributes to mineral intake. This can be beneficial for the oral environment, providing elements needed for the remineralization of tooth enamel.
- Soft Water: This water undergoes a process to remove minerals. While it’s gentler on appliances and feels smoother during bathing, it offers fewer dental health benefits compared to hard water.
Consider the Value of Your Water
So next time you drink a glass of water, consider the fluoride levels in your primary water sources. Does it provide the right amount of fluoride for optimal dental health? If you have concerns or questions about your water intake, consult with the dental professionals at the Placerville Dental Group.