The terms “hard water” and “soft water” can be confusing for many people, and this can be frustrating when you want to evaluate key health decisions for your family. In this article, we will explain the differences between hard and soft water and examine if hard water is a good choice for your teeth.

What is Hard Water?

Water naturally contains minerals that are added to its makeup as it makes the journey to your home. Water is a highly effective solvent, and it can dissolve a wide variety of materials as it passes around and through them. After water falls as rain, it soaks into the ground and passes through various layers of sand, soil, and rock. In many areas, there are elevated levels of certain minerals that can affect the “hardness” of the water. The minerals that cause hardness are calcium, magnesium, and iron. If you have hard water, you’re not alone. Approximately 85% of homes are affected, and this can cause a lot of problems in your home. If you’ve ever noticed the accumulation of white scale on heating elements, this is a sure sign that your water is hard.

What are the Health Implications?

We know that calcium, magnesium, and iron are all good for our health in certain quantities. In fact, they are all essential nutrients, but they are not easy for your body to access when they are ingested in drinking water. A better source of the minerals can be found in food when you eat a healthy diet.

Can Hard Water Harm or Stain My Teeth?

There is no solid evidence to support this claim, but many people believe that drinking hard water will turn their teeth yellow. The calcium in the water can be beneficial for your teeth to a certain extent. Another cause for concern is the abrasive nature of hard water and how that could damage tooth enamel. Most homes don’t have hard water that has a mineral concentration high enough to cause damage to the enamel. But, if your water is sourced from a private well, it’s a good idea to get it tested.

Other Hard Water Issues

The threat that hard water poses for your home is not related to the health of your teeth. Hard water causes an accumulation of scale inside your plumbing pipes, fixtures, and water using appliances. The scale lowers the efficiency of appliances, it takes longer to heat water, and they are more likely to fail. Inside your plumbing pipes, the scale will narrow the pipe diameter leading to a loss of water pressure and cracks. Hard water is also tough on your skin, hair, and nails because a residue of mineral content is left on the surface after the water has evaporated. The minerals tangle at the base of the hair, clog pores leading to breakouts, and make your nails feel brittle.

The minerals that cause hard water are not removed at the municipal treatment plant. The only way to secure a source of soft water for your home is to install a water softener system. If you want to learn more, contact your local water treatment specialist today.

By EcoWater Systems.
EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is the largest water treatment company in the state and is a member of Water Quality Association.