Dental And Drinking Water: Is Water Quality Important For Oral Health?
By Lucy Wyndham
The quality of water can fall anywhere on a scale between acidic and alkaline, not to mention trace minerals or lack thereof, as well as the potential for toxins. We know that staying hydrated is important for all physiological functions and the well-being of the body, including aspects of oral hygiene. What about the quality of the water? Is there more benefit from a specific kind, or will any water keep the mouth in good shape?
A Study On High Acidity Levels
Water can be anywhere between alkaline and acidic. Many studies have concluded that acidity is bad for the body and damaging to the teeth, and this doesn’t exclude the acidic level present in some water. While the US and other first-world countries have easy access to water via faucet that is clean and safe, this isn’t the case elsewhere. A study in Indonesia proved that a lack of quality, clean drinking water does, indeed, affect the teeth; Indonesian children in the study, all under the age of 10, had various states of tooth decay. Their drinking water was found to have no fluoride, high levels of manganese, and high levels of acidity as well.
Benefits Of Tap Water
Despite the ease with which first-world countries can access water, the water available from the tap has somehow gotten a bad rap. Many people opt for bottled drinking water, under the impression that it’s healthier. In truth, this isn’t usually the case. Bottled water isn’t made from a better quality source, so it can have all the same variants when it comes to acidity levels. Additionally, bottled water does not contain fluoride, which is vital for healthy and strong teeth. Drinking bottled water exclusively can lead to more dental problems unless a fluoride supplement is implemented. Tap water, on the other hand, does contain this precious component, and is often quite alkaline, especially compared to most bottled varieties.
The Option Of Filtered Water
Bottled water can become pretty costly, not to mention the effects of plastic on the environment, which is typically the logic behind using an at-home filter. Filters that attach directly to the tap or are placed in a pitcher give the illusion of healthier water at an affordable price. Unfortunately, the filtration process may be removing the fluoride and natural trace minerals that are beneficial to teeth and overall health. If the reports on your local water source aren’t the best and you do need a filtration system, there are some that add fluoride back in after the process, while still removing unwanted contaminants. To be sure a filtration system is providing necessary nutrients, careful research into different available systems is a must.
Many people continue to be nervous about drinking tap water due to the threat of contaminants and negative health effects. The reality is that the majority of developed towns and cities offer safe and great-tasting tap water that gives you all of the minerals and nutrients you need for a healthy body and mouth.