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  • Leonie Arnebark

World Cavity-Free Future Day 2019: Choose water for better oral health

World Cavity-Free Future Day (WCFFD) being held on October 14th asks people everywhere to join the fight against tooth decay by choosing water over sugary drinks for a day (and, of course, well beyond).


Dental caries is the most common chronic disease on the planet, despite being largely preventable. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), worldwide 60–90% of school children and nearly 100% of adults suffer from cavities, which can dramatically impact the sufferers’ quality of life through pain and discomfort, missed days or decreased participation in school and work.


It doesn’t matter if your glass is half-empty or half-full: Drinking water is always good for your overall health and oral health.


Why is water good for oral health?


It contains fluoride

Water fluoridation is used to prevent dental decay. It is a safe, effective way of providing benefit to individuals of all ages in the community. Extensive research supports water fluoridation as an effective measure in preventing and reducing tooth decay. Most Australians have had water fluoridation for 25-50 years. NSW has one of the highest levels of water fluoridation (approximately 96% of the population has access to fluoridated water).


It strengthens your teeth

Drinking water with fluoride (called “nature’s cavity fighter”) is one of the easiest and most beneficial things you can do to help prevent cavities.


Keeps the mouth healthy

Water can flush away bad bacteria and keep the inside of your mouth healthy and hydrated. You’ll still need to brush twice a day for two minutes and floss between your teeth but drinking water through the day will go a long way toward keeping your smile cavity-free.


Prevents dry mouth

Drinking water keeps your mouth from becoming dry. Tooth decay is something that thrives from dry mouth. That’s because saliva is a big defence against tooth decay. There are minerals in saliva like calcium and phosphate that help your teeth fight against tooth decay.


It’s sugar free

Water is also sugar free and calorie free, so you can drink as much as you like without it damaging your teeth!


Helps combat bad breath

“Morning breath” is caused by dry mouth and drinking water throughout the day naturally helps with that. It also washes away food particles and tooth decay that can also contribute towards bad breath and it keeps bad breath from forming in the first place.


Tips for kids

Children need to start habits like these early, so try these tips for getting your child to drink more water:

  • Give them a special cup or bottle that they can drink of out that is their own. Kids love to have a special cup/bottle that they picked out and that can get them more excited about drinking water.

  • Make a sticker chart with daily or weekly water goals. Let them put up a sticker when they reach a water goal, and at the end of the week or month, reward them with a toy, an outing, or a treat: it would also be a good idea to let the reward encourage healthy habits!

  • Kids retain everything they see, so try to lead by example! Your child will be more likely to drink water if they see you doing the same, so switch out that soft drink for some good, old-fashioned water!

There’s plenty of reasons out there to drink water, and oral health includes plenty more. Drinking water can help with many different health issues. So, drink up and embrace H20!

Resources:

https://www.ada.org.au

https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/oralhealth

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