Dehydration Affects Your Dental Health!
The heat is ON here in the desert! As we hit triple digits and enter the hot summer months, it is more crucial than ever to stay hydrated and recognize the signs of dehydration. In addition to fatigue, cramping, headaches and dizziness, did you know that dehydration affects your dental health? Here’s what you need to know to keep your smile sparkling this summer…
Drink this in…
Approximately 70 percent of the human body consists of water. Dehydration occurs when we’ve lost too much water without replenishing it. As our bodies heat up, we sweat to help regulate the body’s temperature. If you do not consume enough water, there is not an adequate cooling mechanism in place, which results in dehydration. When we become dehydrated, our body functions stop cooperating, which can have a disastrous impact on mental and physical health.
Dehydration and dry mouth
Here is another way dehydration affects your dental health: If the body is not sufficiently hydrated, it can’t produce enough saliva – and the teeth and gums depend on saliva in order to stay healthy. Saliva is your smile’s first and best defense against tooth decay. A normal flow of saliva washes away food debris, helps you swallow and chew properly, and keeps your teeth strong by naturally bathing them with calcium, phosphate and fluoride. When saliva levels are too low, “dry mouth” sets in putting you at greater risk for tooth decay and gum disease.
The power of H20!
We have already shared the risks of dehydration on the body so now let’s focus on the benefits of staying hydrated… and there are MANY when it comes to dental health. Proper flow of saliva helps wash away darker foods and liquids that can stain tooth enamel. Drinking water actually strengthens the tooth enamel while safeguarding the teeth from harmful bacteria. Staying hydrated is also the key to fresh breath! As saliva replenishes itself, it naturally washes your tongue, teeth and gums to keep bad breath away. However, be sure to choose water instead of sodas or juices. They may taste refreshing on a hot day but sugary drinks wreak havoc on your teeth and metabolism. You can always add a slice of lemon or cucumber to your water to give it a little pizzazz. In addition, making healthy food choices can aid the production of saliva. Fruits and veggies such as cucumbers, celery and melons are comprised of 90 percent water, which can quickly boost hydration. Making smart choices that harness the power of H20 can enhance hydration, dental health and overall health.
How much should I drink?
What’s the magic formula for staying properly hydrated? Health experts recommend that you try to drink between a half-ounce and one ounce of water daily for each pound you weigh. So, someone who weighs 150 pounds should drink 75-150 ounces daily. However, working or exercising outside in hot temperatures requires you to drink up to 12 ounces more to stay properly hydrated. Keep in mind, however, that “normal” water intake changes depending on factors such as body composition, metabolism, diet and clothing.
Stay hydrated ALL day long
Don’t wait for dehydration to set in; drink water throughout the day to stave it off. That means you should drink BEFORE you feel thirsty. Start drinking water as soon as you wake up to replenish the body, help flush out toxins and speed up your metabolism. Make it an easy part of your routine by keeping a reusable water bottle or tumbler, such as a Yeti or Hydroflask, with you throughout the day. If you find yourself struggling with adequate water intake, set a few reminders to drink throughout the day on your smartphone or smartwatch. Finally, keep a glass or bottle of water by your beside to remind yourself to replenish before you go to bed.
Don’t let dehydration in the desert prevent you from smiling your way through the summer months! Drink up throughout the day to maintain dental health and overall health… and contact Dr. E Cosmetic & Family Dentistry if you feel like dehydration is interfering with your summer smile: