Summer is coming and with that the need to hydrate more.  Of course, we have lots of options for hydration in Australia.  The best of these is our tap water!  Tap water in South Australia has a small therapeutic dose of fluoride in the water, which has served our community really well in reducing decay in teeth.  The uptake of fluoride into permanent teeth as they are forming makes the enamel stronger and more resistant to bacteria filled biofilms.  Of course, the biofilms can still create decay if they are not removed regularly with brushing, flossing and preventative care appointments with your dentist, hygienist and oral health therapist.

Sparkling water, soda water or tonic water are an option for hydration but they do have the issue of being carbonated and having a higher acid level than tap water. The higher the acid level the higher the possibility of erosion of the enamel surface.  Erosion removes enamel and gives the tooth a quite shiny flat appearance, which then becomes more yellow as more enamel is removed.  Once enamel is gone it doesn’t repair itself and may need fixing with veneers or dental crowns to replace the enamel.

Bottled water is generally neutral in the acid/base range and is good for hydration.  It generally doesn’t have any fluoride added to it which doesn’t give the teeth that added protection against biofilms.  The other issue with bottled water is the number of plastic bottles that end up in landfill or other inappropriate places.  From an environmental point of view recycling the bottles is ideal.  Dentally and environmentally purchasing a reusable water bottle and filling it with tap water is the best way to hydrate!

Rehydrating solutions such as sports drinks are not regular drinks but do contain a lot of minerals that make the solution quite acidic on your teeth.  They are great at their job of rehydrating you but also need swishing or drinking plain water afterwards.  It is especially important with these types of solutions to let your teeth surfaces rebalance for at least 30mins prior to brushing or you will lose the surface enamel.

Other drinks generally popular at this time of year with the festive season approaching are soft drinks, wine, beer, cider, cocktails etc.  These are all great sometimes drinks, which are wonderfully tasty and hit the spot, but also high in acid and high in sugar or sugar replicas neither of which is ideal for teeth.  All of us are partial to one or another or all of these drinking options!  It can help to alternate the not so ideal drink with tap water.  Cheers!

Dental benefits

Please remember, as we head towards the end of the year and, dare we say Christmas, we do book up very quickly.  For bookings in the next few months, start scheduling now.  Don’t forget your dental benefits limits for this year finish on 31st December for most funds.  Make the most of those benefits.

See you in the clinic!  The Adelaide City Dental Care Team.

PS:  check out our socials (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram) for top tips for teeth, mouth and gums and dental family snaps!  Maybe even the latest video on YouTube.

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