Water is life, and here in Las Vegas we would not have a city were we not served by the large reservoir of Lake Mead, which supplies 90% of our drinking water. But is this water good for our oral health?
The answer is yes. Las Vegas has a very good water supply for taking care of our oral health, and drinking more of it can make your visit to the dentist easier this summer.
Hard Water and Oral Health
Las Vegas has very hard water. Hard water is when there are many minerals dissolved in the water, especially calcium and magnesium carbonates that can be deposited by the water. This can be a nuisance in your home because it leads to more buildup in your shower, bath, and on your dishes, but it’s actually good for your health.
The primary mineral we have in our water in Las Vegas is calcium. Calcium is good for your teeth and bones, and drinking Las Vegas tap water ensures you are getting a lot of it without having to take additional supplements.
And unlike some nutrients, it’s hard to get too much calcium. Our body has a very good way to regulate the amount of calcium we take in, so getting more calcium than necessary isn’t likely to cause problems. In fact, it’s very beneficial. In addition to oral health, hard water is associated with lower heart attack risk.
You’ve probably noticed that we frequently encourage you to drink water after consuming acidic foods. Las Vegas water is especially good for this. Not only can it wash away acidic compounds, but it can neutralize them because it is alkaline, the opposite of acidic.
Las Vegas water also has the recommended amount of fluoride to protect your teeth. The fluoride level in our water is 0.7 ppm (parts per million), which is at the low end of the recommended level. People who drink fluoridated water generally have about a 30% lower risk of cavities than those that don’t.
You may have heard that fluoride is toxic, and it’s true. But it’s also true that as with all toxins the dose matters. At low levels, cyanide isn’t a poison, it’s a flavor–it gives almonds their delicious taste. And fluoride is the same.
At low levels, fluoride is protective of tooth enamel. It’s only at high levels that it can be dangerous. No studies have shown that fluoride is harmful at the levels in our drinking water. Studies have been conducted all around the world, from New Zealand to Sweden, and have found no risk of either brain damage or bone damage.
So you should feel free to enjoy a tall, cool drink of water this summer, knowing it’s healthy for your teeth.