Bottled Water and Your Children’s Teeth
Contributed by the Children’s Dental Health Project
Do your children drink bottled water instead of tap water? Then their teeth could be paying the price. Here is why. Fluoride is a mineral found in nearly all water supplies but usually at a level too low to prevent tooth decay. That’s why so many communities add a little more fluoride to drinking water. This process is called “fluoridation” and it raises fluoride to the level proven to prevent or even reverse tooth decay.
Unfortunately, many types of bottled water do not have enough fluoride to prevent cavities. If you purchase bottled water, you are spending more money and your children’s teeth probably are not getting the benefits of fluoride. The leading health and medical organizations endorse fluoridation as safe and effective for reducing tooth decay. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fluoridation is so effective because it provides teeth “with frequent contact with low levels of fluoride throughout each day and throughout life.”
Brushing regularly is important. But drinking tap water that is fluoridated provides additional protection. You can find more information about water fluoridation on the Campaign for Dental Health’s Fluoridation Questions page. This CDC Web page can help you confirm whether your local water supply is fluoridated.