It’s officially summertime! While that means beautiful sunny days and warm breezy nights, it can also mean hot weather, dehydration, and dry mouth. You’ve probably heard over and over that dehydration is bad for your body, but do you know how it affects your mouth?
We know it can be hard to stay on top of your water intake, so we’re sharing our top easy tips for staying hydrated during the summer. We’re also diving into some of the ways hydration is essential for your oral health....in hopes that it motivates you (even just a little more) to meet your hydration goals this summer and beyond.
is drinking water good for your teeth?
Absolutely! There are so many reasons why drinking enough water is good for your teeth....and your overall health.
- it helps prevent dry mouth: dehydration is one of the main causes of dry mouth. When you’re dehydrated, your body doesn’t have enough fluid to produce the amount of saliva your mouth needs. When your mouth doesn’t have enough saliva, it can’t properly defend itself against attacks from bacteria and acids. Dry mouth gives bacteria the perfect place to fester and form plaque, which can wear down your enamel and cause decay.
- it flushes out your mouth: water literally flushes out your mouth, dislodging debris, pushing out bacteria, and preventing plaque-forming acids from sitting on your teeth and gums. This helps to keep your oral microbiome balanced, so the bad bacteria don’t overtake the good. It also helps your mouth maintain a healthy acidity level, as unbalanced pH levels can lead to bad breath, sensitivity, and enamel damage.
- it nourishes your gut health: water is essential when it comes to gut health and digestion. Water has the ability to transport nutrients throughout your body, flush out bad bacteria and toxins, and aid in several steps of the digestive process. We know that the gut and mouth are all very closely intertwined: your mouth is the window to your gut, and the two communicate via bacteria (among many other organisms). So giving your digestive system enough water to do its job actually nurtures your oral health too (and vice versa).
Next time you experience dry mouth or digestive issues, try to take inventory of your water intake that day! You might be surprised to find dehydration can be the root cause of some of these oral and gut issues.
easy ways to nurture your oral health through hydration
In addition to avoiding certain foods, beverages, and behaviors (check out our old article, “the best and worst foods for dry mouth and how Davids can help”), here are a few of our top tips for staying on top of your daily hydration.
start your water intake early in the day
In the world of Ayurveda (a widely-followed ancient Eastern holistic health system), you should think of your body as a flowing river of water....constantly moving and washing away impurities. It’s important to nurture your river with a gradual and consistent water intake. In other words, you don’t want to forget to drink water all day long and then chug later in the day. That would overwhelm your body and disrupt the internal balance.
Drinking water little by little throughout the day also makes hydration a little less daunting. Start your morning with 2-3 cups of room temperature or warm water to wake up your body, rehydrate your mouth after a long night, and get your digestive juices flowing.
It’s recommended that women drink 2-3 liters (12 cups) per day and men drink 3-4 liters (15 cups) per day. Keep in mind that these are general guidelines, and you should drink more if you’re active or out in the heat for a while (summer, we’re looking at you). Keep up with your water intake by drinking about 1 cup per hour throughout the day, and increasing this amount when you’re sweating. Drinking water frequently will also directly soothe your dry mouth throughout the day!
drink room temperature or warm water
Why did we mention room temperature or warm water over cold water? Warmer water is more readily available for your body to absorb, allowing it to better aid in hydration and digestion. Especially when you first wake up, your mouth and digestive system are vulnerable. They both just went a long time without any food or water, so you want to reintroduce water in a way that’s gentle and effective.
Your body relies on electrolytes (common ones are sodium, potassium, chloride, and magnesium) to function properly. They help you stay hydrated, aid in muscle recovery, balance blood pressure and acidity, and promote basic functions like nervous system regulation and tissue health.
You can lose electrolytes through excessive sweating, exertion, or even simple everyday activities. When you lose too many electrolytes, you may experience symptoms of dehydration such as muscle cramps, twitching, dry mouth, fatigue, salt cravings, and irritability.
When it comes to replenishing electrolytes, we encourage you to do so in a way that nurtures your oral health too. Many electrolyte supplements out there are high in sugar and artificial ingredients. We recommend the following natural, homemade, and mouth-friendly electrolyte drink.
- 1 cup of water
- 2 tbsp of lemon juice
- a pinch of sea salt
- natural sweetener such as stevia or monk fruit
Just be sure to drink it out of a (reusable) straw and rinse out your mouth after, so the acidity from the lemon doesn’t linger on your enamel.
make it fun
Let’s face it, drinking water all day every day can get a little boring. You can make it more fun by infusing it with fresh fruits and vegetables. One delicious example is cutting up strawberries, mint, and cucumber and putting them in your reusable water bottle. You can keep refilling the water over and over until the flavor runs out!
You can also up your water intake by intentionally eating water-rich fruits and vegetables throughout the day. Melons, pineapple, peaches, strawberries, oranges, cucumber, squash, bell peppers, broccoli, celery, and lettuce all have high water content. We encourage you to add these to your diet if you struggle with meeting your daily water goals.
brush daily with Davids, the best dry mouth toothpaste
What makes Davids the best dry mouth toothpaste? All of our natural toothpaste formulas contain:
- plant-based glycerin: glycerin is a gooey humectant used to moisten your mouth and stimulate your salivary glands, which can really ease the symptoms of dry mouth
- birch xylitol: this natural sweetener also works to stimulate your salivary glands while fighting bad bacteria in your mouth that would otherwise fester due to dry mouth
- baking soda: along with our premium mint oils, baking soda works to neutralize the pH of your mouth to keep it healthy and prevent bad breath that’s often associated with dry mouth
Not to mention, all of our formulas avoid potentially harmful ingredients such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS). SLS is a chemical foaming agent that’s known to cause irritation and burning. If you already suffer from dry mouth, you know that your mouth becomes extremely vulnerable, and even the slightest irritations can feel unbearable.
This is why we only use gentle, natural ingredients that work together to prevent dry mouth and leave you feeling fresh and comfortable.