Tooth decay is the most prevalent – and preventable – disease in children, but drinking more tap water can help prevent cavities. February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, and this year’s theme is “Choose Tap Water for a Sparkling Smile.” National Children’s Dental Health Month is organized by the American Dental Association (ADA), and brings together dental professionals, healthcare providers and educators to promote the benefits of oral health to children. This year, learn about how tap water can help protect your child’s teeth from cavities, and lead to improved oral health.
Tap Water Protects Tooth Enamel
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention said that community water fluoridation is one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century. Tap water contains small amounts of fluoride – which is great for teeth. Fluoride consumption is effective in preventing tooth decay by at least 25% in children and adults, according to the American Dental Association. You can also get fluoride from fluoridated toothpaste, but drinking tap water daily is a fantastic way to get a healthy dose of fluoride.
Stimulates Saliva Production
Saliva is 99% water and absolutely critical in the fight against cavities. When you are low on saliva, you will most likely experience dry mouth – a condition that makes it hard to swallow and chew because of a lack of saliva. By drinking sufficient amounts of water, you ensure that your saliva is produced at an optimal rate, and help prevent dry mouth. Saliva plays an important role in naturally cleaning teeth of food debris that can cause cavities. If you’re experiencing dry mouth, you’re more susceptible to cavities.
Clears Teeth of Sugar
After you’re done eating, food can get stuck on the surface of your teeth, or in the tight cracks between teeth. . When food debris is left on teeth, it can turn into sugar, which powers enamel-killing bacteria that cause cavities. You can prevent this by rinsing your mouth with water immediately after you eat. Simply swish water around for 30 seconds after you eat to clear your teeth of any sugary or food debris leftover from you previous meal.
Water is Calorie-free
Rising consumption in sugary beverages has been a major contributor to the increasing rate of obesity in the United States. In fact, people who consume 1 – 2 sugary beverages per day are 26% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. You can fight this by substituting colas, sugary juices and sports drinks with a glass of water. Water doesn’t have any calories, and it contains no sugar, which makes it incredibly healthy. Try reaching for water when you’re thirsty, not something full of sugar.
Encourage Your Child to Drink More Tap Water
Water is unlike any other drink, and is by far the healthiest drink available. Children should abide by the 8 X 8 rule: 8 glasses of water in 8 oz glasses per day, to get 64 oz of water every day. If you’re worried that your child may not be drinking enough water, then bring them into our office for a consultation. We will thoroughly evaluate your child’s teeth, and provide you with flexible treatment options that are right for them.