To keep your mouth healthy and avoid oral health problems, you should pay close attention to what you drink every day. Soft drinks and juices are known to harm your teeth. Instead of sugary, acidic beverages, it is always better to reach for water. But have you given much thought to the kind of water you are drinking?
Not all water is the same, which means some types of water may affect your teeth differently than others. Here’s what you should know about why the kind of water you drink matters.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that a specific number of vitamins, minerals, and chemicals are essential to tap water because they help maintain the health of the water as well as the health of those who drink it. One noteworthy addition to your tap water is fluoride, which is added to improve dental health. Chlorine is also used to kill bacteria.
Most towns and cities in the United States offer safe, refreshing tap water that provides many essential vitamins and minerals without negatively affecting your health.
Still, many Americans use a filter, whether on their tap or in a pitcher, to filter their tap water. Many people choose to filter their tap water, thinking they are getting rid of harmful contaminants.
Unfortunately, the filtration process could be getting rid of fluoride and other compounds that have been purposefully added to benefit you. If you feel the need to filter your tap water, try to use one that allows fluoride through so you can be sure you are getting what you need from your water.
Americans love bottled water. The average American drinks approximately 30 gallons of bottled water a year, which breaks down to about four bottles per person, per week. But despite its popularity, is bottled water really better for you than tap water? And what kind of impact does it have on your teeth?
We should first point out that bottled water is considered a food product by the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA’s standards for bottled water are somewhat lenient. Plus, bottled water is susceptible to bacteria once it is opened, especially if it sits at room temperature.
Additionally, most bottled water doesn’t have fluoride, which is considered an essential part of oral health. If you drink mostly bottled water, not tap water, you are missing out on the major benefits of fluoride. If you prefer to stick to bottled water, you may want to consider adding a fluoride supplement to your diet so maintain good oral health.
Sparkling water is a carbonated beverage, which means it uses carbon dioxide. That carbon dioxide turns into carbonic acid once you drink it. Carbonic acid, in many carbonated drinks, can negatively impact your teeth by wearing away enamel and leave you more susceptible to cavities.
Fortunately, sparkling water is less acidic than soft drinks. According to the ADA, the level of acid in most sparkling water isn’t dangerous to your teeth. You are much better off drinking sparkling water than soft drinks. Just be sure to avoid sparkling water with harmful additives like high levels of citric acid or added sugar. You should also drink a sparkling water beverage all in one sitting, rather than slowly sipping it throughout the day to minimize exposure.
To learn more about how you can keep your mouth healthy and what we can do to help, make an appointment at Blankenship Family Dentistry. Call 770-766-8995 or contact us online.