Bottled Water: Friend or Foe?

In many homes, bottled water has become a common grocery list item. So common, that currently people drink approximately 21 gallons of bottled water a year. In addition, according to a recent study in the Archives of Pediatrics, about 45 percent of parents give their children bottled water instead of tap water. Bottled water is easy to grab-and-go, and will help you stay hydrated throughout the day! What’s not to love? Surprisingly, bottled water may be the culprit of rising rates of tooth decay, especially in young children. Bottled water typically lacks the important natural mineral, fluoride! As bottled water becomes more popular,  fewer of them receive enough fluoride to prevent cavities.

Along with many dentists and government health officials, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cautions that “bottled water may not have a sufficient amount of fluoride, which is important for preventing tooth decay and promoting oral health.” Fluoride is present in many brands of toothpaste, rinses, and gels used by consumers every day. Fluoride helps strengthen tooth structure, especially in children’s growing teeth, and prevents bacteria from producing acids that erode tooth enamel.

Bottled water companies have the power to decide whether to add or not add fluoride to their bottled water. Typically, many individual manufactures choose not to add fluoride. In a study, more than 65 percent of parents buying bottled water were unaware of the fluoride levels it contained. It is important to check the labels on bottled water for their levels of fluoride. Dr. Jonathan Shenkin, an American Dental Association spokesman and pediatric dentist, said “most bottled waters have less than 0.3 parts per million of fluoride, well below the accepted level for optimally fluoridated drinking water.”

Although the link between bottled water and tooth decay has not yet been scientifically proven, experts have found that fluoridated tap water has reduced the risk of tooth decay by approximately 25 percent. Try not to miss the decay-preventive benefits of fluoride!

Don’t forget that the common suspects, such as junk foods, sodas, and candy are also still playing a role in the prevalence of children’s tooth decay. Help remind your child of the importance of maintaining a healthy diet and practicing good oral health habits. Inadequate brushing, flossing, and rinsing habits, along with delayed dental visits are all likely to increase risks of tooth decay.

Make sure your child’s dental health is a priority. It is important to start caring for their teeth early! The health of your child’s primary teeth can impact their permanent teeth. As soon as your child’s primary teeth arrive, they are susceptible to decay.


Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or to set up an appointment and consultation.



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