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A lot of folks are celebrating Ash Wednesday today, but there’s another holiday today we’d like to focus on: Dentist’s Day. Going to the dentist is a trip most people either love or loathe, and we understand both sides of the argument. If you love the dentist, you probably enjoy the feeling of freshly flossed enamel and the gift of a new toothbrush. But cavities, cleanings and that whirring sound of the tools can all make it daunting to set a date with a dentist. Fortunately, drinking enough water can help make your next appointment a quick one. This week, we’re talking about the benefits of proper hydration for oral health.

Clean Your Mouth

All day while you’re eating food and drinking sugary drinks, your teeth are getting coated with leftover sugars. These sugars get eaten by cavity-causing bacteria which then produce acids that erode enamel. Some foods and drinks—soft drinks like sodas, especially—have added acids which also wear on your enamel when you consume them. Drinking a glass of water when you’re finished eating or enjoying a soft drink can help keep your mouth clean, rinse out leftover sugars and acids and fight stains and cavities.

Strengthen Your Teeth

Fluoride is added to most water systems to help fight tooth decay—the most common preventable disease in children. The right amount of the mineral in drinking water can prevent dental issues across communities which is why both Omaha and Lincoln add fluoride to public water systems. In fact, a review of the economic impact of water fluoridation across multiple communities conducted by the CDC found that every dollar invested in the practice saves an average of $32 per person by avoiding dental treatment. They state, “people who consume fluoridated water experience fewer and less severe cavities, resulting in a reduced need for fillings and removing or replacing teeth, and less time taken off from school or work because of dental problems or pain.”

Hydrate for Healthy Gums

Gingivitis, or inflamed gums, affects a lot of American adults. Bacteria gets stuck just below the gum line and, if left untreated, leads to painful inflammation. Luckily, your saliva is a natural bacteria-fighting fluid. Proper hydration ensures you have enough saliva to fight bacteria while simultaneously rinsing some of that bacteria from your mouth to keep your gums healthy.

Combat Cotton Mouth and Kill Bad Breath

Proper hydration also combats the root causes of bad breath. One of the most common reasons for halitosis—the proper name for chronic bad breath—is dry mouth. If you experience cotton mouth (the dry mouth version, not the cottonmouth snake) often, it’s a good indication you’re dehydrated and need to drink more water. Proper hydration allows you to produce the saliva needed to combat cotton mouth and keep your breath fresh and clean.

Get the quality water you need to keep your mouth—and your dentist—happy this Dentist’s Day. Throughout March, Quality Water Services is offering $99 installation and 99¢ rental for your first three months, so there’s never been a better time to start drinking the purer, clearer water you deserve.