FOR CONVENIENT, GREAT TASTING WATER MANY OF US LOOK TO BOTTLED WATER and why wouldn’t we? It is a great healthy way to quench your thirst. In fact Americans drink over 5 billion gallons of bottled water each year.
What possible reason would the topic of bottled water show up in Comfort Dental’s blog? One word…fluoride.
Why is Bottle Water Missing Fluoride?
The vast majority of bottle waters do not contain optimal levels of fluoride. They lack the decay-preventing benefits of this incredible mineral – fluoride. Many popular bottled water brands use the process of reverse osmosis or distillation to purify the water. Both processes remove all the fluoride from the water. Note: Your at-home water purification system can also remove fluoride.
Does Your Tap Water Have Enough Fluoride?
If you have municipal water, then you can likely trust adequate fluoride is added to your water. If you have well-water, then you will only know if adequate fluoride exists naturally by having your water tested. (More on water testing below.)
Why Should You Care About Fluoride?
Cavities used to be a fact of life. But over the past few decades, tooth decay has been reduced dramatically. The key reason: fluoride.
Research has shown fluoride reduces cavities in both children and adults. It also helps repair the early stages of tooth decay even before the decay becomes visible. Fluoride is like any other nutrient; it is safe and effective when used appropriately.
Fluoride Adds Strength to Your Teeth
It makes the tooth structure stronger, so teeth are more resistant to acid attacks. Acid is formed when the bacteria in plaque break down sugars and carbohydrates from the diet. Repeated acid attacks break down the tooth, which causes cavities.
Fluoride also acts to repair, or remineralize, areas in which acid attacks have already begun. The remineralization effect of fluoride is important because it reverses the early decay process – as well as creating a tooth surface that is more resistant to decay.
Two Ways Your Body Gets Fluoride
Topical fluorides go on your teeth and include toothpastes, mouth rinses and professionally applied fluoride therapies. These strengthen teeth already present in the mouth making them more decay-resistant.
Systemic fluorides are ingested into the body and become incorporated into forming tooth structures. This is where bottled water can get in your way. Systemic fluorides minerals can also give topical protection because fluoride is present in saliva, which continually bathes the teeth. Systemic fluorides include water with fluoride or dietary fluoride supplements in the form of tablets, drops or lozenges. (Note: It is also very important not to get too much fluoride.)
*** On a Personal Note…
I have two young boys. When the first was only a few months old, we had our well-water tested only to find that our water lacks an adequate amount of fluoride for our family. As a result, starting at age three each of our boys start taking a daily chewable fluoride supplement to ensure their teeth get all the benefits of systemic (ingested) fluoride.
If you are interested in getting your water tested and you live in Indiana, please see the link below. Once you have your results you can bring them to your child’s pediatrician or dental professional.
As always, Comfort Dental’s mission is healthy smiles throughout our lives. If you have additional questions about fluoride or any other dental topic, we are here for you – and hope to see you soon!