Posted on 2/20/2019 by Dr. Brandon Cooley
|In order for your teeth to remain as clean as possible throughout the day, they need to be rinsed off the bacteria that accumulate from the food you eat and whatever you drink. If you smoke, that increases the need for your teeth to be rinsed.
If your mouth isn't rinsed in between the time when you can floss or brush, the particles of food or drink left on your teeth become the bacteria that form plaque. This is the beginning of tooth decay. If you smoke or suffer from dry mouth due to a medical condition or medications that you are taking it is imperative that you ensure your mouth is hydrated.
Can I Drink Anything?
Normally, your saliva rinses your mouth during the day between brushings. But many things can reduce the amount of saliva that is produced. Medication, mouth breathing, smoking, and medical conditions can all affect your saliva production. An insufficient amount of saliva production has an adverse effect on your oral health and increases the opportunity for tooth decay to begin and succeed.
You can certainly drink whatever you like and if dry mouth is your problem than it is better to drink something rather than nothing. But as with anything else, some drinks are better than others, though all have drawbacks.
Bottled Water vs. Tap Water
The American Dental Association recommends drinking 5 – 8 glasses of water per day. Whether the water is bottled or comes from a municipal source, it will certainly help your saliva do its job or replace reduced saliva.
However, it is important to note that bottled water, which is so popular these days, does not contain fluoride. If you use fluoride toothpaste this isn't an issue, but if you don't, you should consider drinking municipal tap water. Most municipal systems add fluoride to their water supplies.