Is Brushing with Hard Water Rough on Your Teeth?
Proper dental hygiene is important to your overall health. But, do you ever think about the amount of water you use and if there is a difference between hard and softened water while bushing your teeth?
What Exactly is “Hard” Water?
Water is considered “hard” when calcium and magnesium minerals (and others) are dissolved in it. It is very common and can be a problem for many homes and businesses across the United States – and our region is particularly faced with hard water. The minerals in the water can cause problems like scale buildup and soap scum in the home.
Where does Water that is Hard Originate?
Most municipal (city) water systems and all wells pump water up from deep underground to provide people with water. Rainwater soaks into the ground, pooling under the surface into what are called “aquifers.” As the water traveled to aquifers it picked up minerals like calcium and magnesium. It is these and a few other minerals that make water hard.
Most municipal water treatment plants don’t filter out mineral-laden water before delivering it to homes and businesses – because hard water poses no direct, immediate health concern. Similarly, almost all of the well water in the United States is considered “hard” water – and each well water source will vary in hardness. We recommend you have a water test completed to learn how severe the hardness is in your water.
Does Hard Water Damage Your Teeth?
Brushing your teeth removes leftover food, plaque that has built up, and other things that should not remain in your mouth. When brushing, the toothbrush bristles scrub these off your teeth with the help of toothpaste. Toothpaste includes abrasives that assist in breaking up plaque more effectively than bristles alone. It also contains chemicals to kill bacteria in your mouth.
You’ve likely heard that brushing too hard or too many times in a day may actually damage your teeth. It is these same abrasives that keep your teeth clean that can also damage them when used in excess – or with too much force from a toothbrush.
Hard water particles like magnesium and calcium are abrasive too – which leads to the concern that brushing with them may be stripping one’s teeth of protective enamel. Rest assured, unless your water is exceptionally hard, any hard water minerals in your water will not make a considerable difference when brushing your teeth.
So, if your home has hard water, there should be no concern about brushing your teeth with it. While having a properly operating water softener will help in many other ways, hard water is not going to scrub off the enamel of your teeth.
Does Teeth Turn Yellow from Hard Water?
It is not uncommon for humans’ teeth to yellow as we age and reflective of how we care for our dental health. The most common reasons that teeth yellow is by consuming acidic, dark-colored drinks, including coffee, tea, brown-colored soda pop, and wines. Some vegetables and fruits can also stain teeth, especially blueberries, beets, tomatoes, and grapes. Most significant thing that can cause yellow stains is tobacco use, including smoking and chewing tobacco. It has even been shown that some medications can slightly change the color of teeth.
But, can the minerals in hard water change the color of our teeth? Simply put, there is no evidence pointing to a link between hard water consumption and tooth discoloration.
As mentioned before, though, brushing your teeth with softened water is often more pleasurable, compared with hard water. So, the benefit of regular brushing (properly) with soft water could actually mean more people are experiencing whiter, brighter smiles because of this fact.
Do Your Teeth Benefit from Hard Water?
It is well known that healthy bones need calcium to grow and remain strong over a person’s lifetime. Some people have theorized that calcium in hard water would therefore be beneficial to dental hygiene. The fact is that all calcium is the same. Nutrient-rich calcium found in dark green leafy vegetables is different from the calcium in hard water. Vegetables’ calcium is organic, which means digests and absorbs it to rebuild bones and keep bone marrow thriving.
The calcium in hard water is inorganic because it has picked up from the local rock formations as opposed it being part of the original chemical makeup. Unlike as some may believe, this type of calcium does not bond to your teeth and strengthen them on contact.
Your body benefits from processing the calcium mineral through digestion. The best place to turn if you want to strengthen your teeth and bones are getting calcium from the vegetables and other sources of organic calcium you eat.
Is Soft Water Better for Your Teeth?
There is little evidence that hard water will adversely or positively affect your dental health. But, because hard water causes scale buildup in faucets, showerheads, laundry washing machines, dishwashers, water heaters, and more, the idea of having a water softener unit installed makes sense. The investment of having a water softener installed may extend the life of your water-using appliances – and ultimately save you money. Even though hard water won’t necessarily damage (nor enhance) your pearly smile, softened water helps improve our lives in many other ways.
Give us a call today at (402) 453-5730 to schedule a simple test to see what type of minerals (or contaminants) are present in your water. The results will identify any issues that are in your water and, if any are found, how you can resolve them with water treatment. For over 50 years we have been helping homeowners in our region with effective water treatment systems, and can help you on your way to enjoying premium water in your home or at your place of work.