The Importance Of Water In Oral Health Care

Make better use of this readily available resource to help keep your teeth and gums healthy

In the Western world, water is in such plentiful supply that we probably think little about it at all.

When it comes to our oral health, most of us probably only associate water with when we brush our teeth in the morning and evening.

Despite this, water can be really useful in the front line against common dental problems such as tooth decay and gum disease. Your local Teddington dentists explains why.


One of the biggest threats to our teeth and gums is gum disease, and periodontitis in particular. This attacks the bone that hold our teeth in position and can lead to tooth loss. We can help to prevent gum disease, not only by brushing, flossing and having a scale and polish at Elmfield House Dental Practice every six months, but also by staying well hydrated.

The bacteria which contribute to gum disease thrive and grow in a warm and dry environment. When we are dehydrated, our mouths can become dry, allowing the bacteria to grow. Where our mouths are dry for long periods of time, such as if we have been drinking alcohol and go to sleep without drinking sufficient water, this can significantly increase the risks.

No sugar refreshment

Water is often the best option when it comes to feeling refreshed. It will also help to eliminate, or at least reduce, the consumption of soft drinks that are very high in sugar. These have been widely linked with much of the rise of tooth decay in children, and ensuring that children drink water or dilute juices instead, will help them to keep their teeth healthier. This also applies to adults too of course.

Food removal

Although we use water when we brush our teeth, this can often be some time after we have eaten. For example, if you clean your teeth when you get up in the morning and then have a breakfast which includes fruit, jam or honey, there is an awful lot of sugar that could remain stuck to your teeth throughout the day. One very simple way to reduce this is to drink water afterwards. This will help to remove some of the sugars and food particles that have become stuck between the teeth. An even more effective way, if it is practical, is to swill the water around your mouth. This is not as effective as flossing, but is a great additional and simple way to help your teeth and gums.

When you SHOULDN’T use water

There is one time when you should not use water, and that is after you have cleaned your teeth. Some of us will have grown up with the brush, spit, then rinse, principle. Our Teddington dentists recommend that you no longer rinse your teeth after brushing. Doing so will reduce the effectiveness of the fluoride in toothpaste which helps to keep your enamel strong and healthy.

All home cleaning is beneficial for your teeth, but you do still need to see a dentist every six months or so. If you haven’t seen a dentist recently or would like to find out more about registering at our local clinic, please call Elmfield House Dental Practice on 020 8614 1995.