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Is it Okay to Brush your Teeth with Hard Water?

woman looking at toothbrush

Dental hygiene is a matter of daily attention. Have you ever thought about how much water you use when you brush your teeth? Brushing your teeth might not require a lot of water, but increased awareness of the hardness in water has made people wonder if it is terrible for your teeth to brush with hard water. Since there are a lot of misunderstandings about hard water, it is essential to get the facts straight first.

What is Hard Water?

Hard water is water with calcium and magnesium dissolved in it. Other minerals are usually involved, but these are the two most common elements contributing to water hardness. Hard water is a problem for most homes and businesses in the United States and surrounding areas. These minerals can cause issues that slowly develop around your house (like scale buildup and soap scum), and many people still do not understand the consequences of using hard water.

Where Does Hard Water Come From?

All wells and most city water systems pump deep underground to supply people with water. Groundwater that was once rain soaks into the groundwater, pooling up under the surface layers of the Earth. These areas of Underground water are called aquifers. The water eroded the bedrock and other layers of the ground as it traveled to the aquifers, with calcium and magnesium being two of the most common. Most municipal water treatment plants will not filter out or soften the water before sending it into the pipes that lead to homes and businesses because hard water poses no immediate health concerns. Most well water in the U.S. is considered hard water; each well will vary in hardness. So, a water test is necessary to determine how severe the hardness is in your water.

Will Hard Water Damage Your Teeth?

Brushing your teeth removes leftover food, plaque, and other things that do not need to stay in your mouth. The bristles of your toothbrush help knock stuff off your teeth, but they are not strong enough on their own, which is why toothpaste is necessary. Aside from chemicals meant to kill bacteria in your mouth, toothpaste includes abrasives that help break up plaque more effectively than bristles alone. Because of these abrasives, too much brushing can hurt your teeth. Brushing too hard or too many times a day can damage our teeth. The same abrasives that help keep your teeth clean can damage them when used excessively.

The calcium and magnesium particles in hard water are abrasive too, which makes people worry that hard water will also damage their teeth. Unless your water is exceptionally hard, the minerals in your water will not make a noticeable difference when brushing your teeth. If you still use hard water, you shouldn't fear brushing your teeth. While having a water softener will help in other ways, hard water will not break down the enamel of your teeth.

Does Hard Water Stain Teeth Yellow?

Human teeth tend to go yellow when they are not kept up well. Yellow stains are unappealing when mild and appalling when severe. A few things can cause yellow tooth stains. The most common come from acidic, dark-colored drinks like coffee, brown sodas, teas, and wines. Some fruits and vegetables can cause stains, too, especially blueberries, tomatoes, beets, and grapes. The worst yellow stains, like smoking and chewing tobacco, often come from tobacco use. Some medications could also cause changes in tooth color. Out of all the things that are known to cause tooth discoloration, is hard water one of them?

There is no proof that hard water stains teeth, regardless of the color of the stain. Other water conditions might cause tooth stains, but no scientific studies have found links between hard water and tooth discoloration. Still, brushing teeth with soft water might be more palatable for many who struggle to maintain a daily tooth-brushing habit.

Does Hard Water Help Your Teeth?

Some have theorized that the calcium in hard water can benefit dental hygiene instead of damaging it. It is common knowledge that healthy bones need lots of calcium to remain strong throughout a person’s life. While calcium is a vital nutrient, not all calcium is the same. The calcium in dark green leafy vegetables is different in hard water. The difference is calcium from vegetables is organic, meaning the body can use it to rebuild bones and keep your marrow in top condition. The story differs for inorganic calcium that your water has picked up from the local rock formations. This kind of calcium does not bond to your teeth and strengthen them on contact, as some might think. The benefits of calcium to your body need to come through processing the mineral through digestion. Vegetables and other sources of organic calcium are the best places to turn if you want to strengthen your teeth and other bones.

Is Soft Water Better for Your Teeth?

Considering all the things that hard water affects, there is little evidence that hard water will adversely or positively affect your dental health. But because hard water can cause scale buildup in showerheads, faucets, dishwashers, clothes washers, water heaters, and more, the prospect of investing in a water softener sounds better. Getting a water softener installed may cost some money upfront, but protecting the life of your water-using appliances might make it worth it. Even if dental hygiene has nothing to do with it, softened water helps improve life in many ways. Contact an Evolve dealer today to schedule a water test. A water test will identify issues in your water, and how to counter them with water treatment. Your local Evolve® dealer will use the results to customize an efficient, effective water treatment system, and you will be well on your way to enjoying premium water in your home or business.

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