In the heat of summer, or if you play sports or spend a lot of time in the gym, you may think that guzzling a sports drink is the best way to stay hydrated. Many people enjoy the outdoors in summer and may reach for sports drinks to refuel and hydrate. But our leading family dentist at Chestnuthill in Sciota is sharing today four reasons to pick up water instead of a sports drink to maintain optimum oral health while hydrating.
Water helps balance and neutralize pH levels in the mouth
Foods and beverages you consume contain sugars and acids that can damage tooth enamel. Among the most acidic foods and beverages: tomatoes, fruits, alcohol, sparkling water and — wait for it — sports drinks. Water, on the other hand, has a neutral pH level that negates the effects of sugar and acids. Bottled and reverse-osmosis water could be below natural pH levels for water, so be sure to read product packaging if you’re watching the acids you’re consuming.
Water supports salivary function
Saliva is an important part of oral health because it helps remove food debris from teeth and cleans tooth surfaces. If the mouth isn’t producing enough saliva, it increases a person’s risk of developing plaque buildup, which leads to tooth decay and gum disease. Consuming beverages such as sports drinks, caffeine, alcohol, or sugary drinks can lead to dehydration and dry mouth, increasing your risk of developing gum disease and cavities. Our family dentists in Sciota recommend drinking water to prevent dry mouth and promote better overall oral health.
Water fights against harmful bacteria
The bacteria responsible for cavities eat off of simple carbohydrates you consume then excrete damaging acids, creating plaque that sticks to the teeth. Many sports drinks contain a lot of sugar that fuels harmful oral bacteria. Plaque collects between the teeth and under gums if not removed by a dentist. It’s easier for plaque to build up in a dry mouth. Drinking water, while not a replacement for brushing and flossing, washes away the bacteria and food particles that help the bacteria survive in the mouth.
Water is free of sugar and dyes
Sugar is a food source for harmful bacteria to thrive and cause significant damage to oral health. Sugar in beverages such as sports drinks, alcohol and sodas increases the risk of damage to tooth enamel and gum inflammation. Sports drinks also contain dyes used for coloring, which can stain teeth.
Family Dentist in Sciota, PA
Our bodies are made primarily of water, and water is an essential part of our overall well-being — a critical, life-sustaining substance that is sometimes turned down as a thirst quencher for more sugary, dye-laden sports drinks. Our family dentists at Chestnuthill Dental encourage you to increase your consumption of water for better oral and overall health. Need to schedule your routine dental appointment for a professional cleaning? Call us at Chestnuthill Dental, (570) 865-7929, or reach us online today.