Tooth decay is a very common problem that affects most people in this country. According to the CDC, 90% of adults over the age of 20 suffer from some form of tooth root decay. Most people realize that they can treat the problem by brushing and flossing regularly, but they don’t know that they need to take other steps to avoid developing cavities. One of the most important things they can do is stay hydrated.
What Role Does Hydration Play in Preventing Tooth Decay?
There are a number of important health reasons that you need to stay hydrated. Promoting good oral health is one of the reasons many people aren’t aware of. Why do you need to stay hydrated to avoid tooth decay?
You will run short on saliva if you don’t get plenty of fluids. Your mouth will start to become dry, which will make it a breeding ground for bacteria. This bacteria can begin forming on your teeth and producing acids that begin to erode the enamel. You can also develop gingivitis as the bacteria begins to affect the gums.
How Do You Stay Hydrated
Unfortunately, staying hydrated is much more difficult than most people think. Even people that try to religiously drink eight glasses of water a day often struggle to stay hydrated, which leads to oral decay and other health problems. Here are some things that a comprehensive dentist like Dr. James Andrews would recommend.
Don’t Limit Yourself to Eight Glasses of Water a Day
The USDA recently reported that the eight glasses of water a day recommendation isn’t supported by any scientific evidence. Most people probably don’t need that much water, but others may need a bit more than that. Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to know how much water you need, because everybody’s symptoms are different. Try consuming more water if you are feeling fatigued, lightheaded, irritable or hungry, because these are all symptoms of possible dehydration.
Modify Drinking to Different Circumstances
You will need to adjust the amount of water you consume if you are working out extensively or exposed to excessive heat. It may take a while for your body to register that it is dehydrated, so it is a good idea to get in the habit of drinking more water under these circumstances.
Limit Caffeine and Sugar Consumption
Caffeine and sugar have both been shown to cause dehydration. You will want to limit the amount of these substances that you consume, especially if you plan on working out a lot. These toxins also tend to cause tooth problems, which is another reason to limit or eliminate them from your diet if you are trying to avoid tooth decay.