One of the most important things we can do to stay healthy is often the most overlooked – drinking enough water daily. And while the jury is still out on if the often-quoted “8 cups a day” is truly necessary, we can all agree that water is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle.

Our bodies are made up of 60% water, and staying hydrated helps your system distribute healthy nutrients, gets rid of waste, gives your skin a healthy glow and keeps your muscles moving.

Beyond these benefits, drinking water can help improve your smile in the following ways:

Fights Cavities Naturally:

Drinking water – especially water with fluoride – is one of the easiest and most beneficial things you can do to help prevent cavities. Food and drinks leave sugar on your teeth. Unlike other drinks, however, water cleans your mouth. Water will wash out food, sugars, bacteria and dilute acids produced by bacteria. While drinking water will never replace brushing and flossing, it should definitely become an integral part of your routine to keep your smile cavity-free.

Acts as an Organic Mouthwash:

Water is a great mouth cleaner, as it can wash away leftover food and residue. The cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth produce an acid that wears away the enamel on the outer shell of your teeth. Water can dilute the acids produced by the bacteria in your mouth, lessening the risk of developing tooth decay.

Reduce the Chances of Gum Disease:

Saliva is your mouth’s first defense against tooth decay and Gingivitis (inflamed gums) and is 99% water. It washes away leftover food and helps you swallow with ease. By drinking water, you ensure that enough saliva is produced. Not only that, but drinking plenty of water will also help rinse out bacteria that has not yet taken root in the plaque.

It’s free!

There is absolutely no need for fancy drinks or mouth rinses. The best thing you can do for your oral health costs no money and has zero calories! Water washes away cavity-causing bacteria, plaque and food particles while helping to keep your mouth moist and bad breath at bay. It is also the healthiest drink available. As an added benefit, drinking plenty of water can act as a natural appetite suppressant and give your skin a healthy glow.

So, whether your glass is half-full or half-empty, always be sure to keep a glass of water handy to preserve your dazzling smile.