We all know that summer in Texas can be HOT, and it’s important to drink plenty of water to keep your body strong and hydrated. In light of National Drinking Water Week (May 6-12), Dr. Corbet Locke wants to discuss how drinking water can keep your mouth healthy.

Tap vs. Bottled Water

Many people prefer the taste and reusability of water bottles, but your Waco dentist encourages you to drink tap water, instead. Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral that helps deter tooth decay. The mineral helps strengthen tooth enamel and replenish lost minerals, which helps prevent cavities. Although you’re exposed to fluoride every day through your toothpaste, about 75 percent of your fluoride intake comes from water and processed beverages. Fluoride is naturally present in water, but many communities add fluoride to drinking water to reach the level recommended for optimal oral health—which is about .7 to 1.2 parts per million. In fact, about 62 percent of the U.S. population has access to an adequate amount of fluoride in their tap water. Community water fluoridation frequently exposes you to small amounts of fluoride every time you drink—just enough to keep your smile healthy.

On the contrary, bottled water does not contain a healthy level of fluoride. Research shows that children who drink bottled water on a regular basis consume 26 to 48 percent less fluoride than tap water drinkers.

Hydrating your Mouth

Dr. Locke recommends drinking at least eight glasses of water each day—especially during and after eating. Drinking water helps rinse away food particles, bacteria, and debris to keep your mouth clean. Moisture also helps neutralize the pH level in your mouth to prevent tooth decay, acidic erosion, dry mouth, and other dental problems. Additionally, water is the safest beverage you can drink. It’s free of sugar, acid, and calories. Furthermore, the hot summer sun can dry out your lips, but drinking water will moisturize your skin to keep your lips smooth and soft. Water also acts as an appetite suppressant and keeps you full. So next time you’re hungry, drink a glass of water instead of reaching for a sugary or starchy snack that feeds oral bacteria.

Dr. Locke can make sure you’re drinking enough fluoridated water to keep your smile healthy. If you’re deficient in fluoride, he may suggest fluoride supplements to add extra strength and protection. Contact our dentist office in Waco at (254) 776-4888 to schedule an appointment. We welcome patients from Waco, Woodway, McGregor, Hewitt, and the surrounding Central Texas area.