From Fiji to Dasani, the U.S. market is the largest bottled water consumer market. While water is crucial to our overall health, fluoride is crucial to our dental health. Here are 5 things you need to know about bottled water and your dental health.
Fluoride is Important to Your Dental Health
Fluoride is a mineral that helps strengthen teeth. The natural mineral helps rebuild, or “remineralize”, weakened tooth enamel and makes the enamel more resistant to acid attacks that cause tooth decay.
The U.S. Public Health Service made fluoridating tap water an official policy to help Americans fight tooth decay.
Some Bottled Waters Don’t Contain Fluoride
Many bottled waters go through reverse osmosis or distillation, treatments used to purify the water before it’s bottled. However, these treatments remove all fluoride from the water. If you’re drinking only bottled water that lacks fluoride, you are missing out on the decay-preventing benefit of fluoride.
How Much Fluoride Do I Need?
For the cavity-fighting benefits of fluoride, the water you drink should contain between 0.7 and 1.2 ppm of fluoride, which is about 1 milligram per liter. To put this into perspective, 1 milligram is only a tiny fraction of an ounce.
While fluoride can be beneficial to your dental health, the mineral can be harmful if too much is ingested. Just like other minerals and vitamins, too much fluoride can be toxic. The consequences of too much fluoride can range from gastrointestinal discomfort to dental and skeletal fluorosis.
How Do I Know if My Bottled Water Has Fluoride?
The U.S. FDA requires bottled water to list fluoride content only if it’s been added to the water. Some companies may list the amount of fluoride on their labels even if they’re not required to do so; if they don’t, call the number on the label and ask how much fluoride is in your bottle of water.
Other Ways to Get the Benefits of Fluoride
If you love your bottled water or are concerned about drinking your local tap water, there are many other ways you can get the cavity-fighting benefits of fluoride.
- Toothpaste – Many toothpastes on the shelves today contain fluoride because of the dental benefit it provides. Toothpastes with the ADA Seal of Acceptance contain fluoride and have been tested for effectiveness.
- Mouthwash – Many mouthwashes contain fluoride as well, providing you with another way to incorporate fluoride into your dental routine.
If you use a fluoride-containing toothpaste, wash out your mouth with as little water as possible. When you wash away all of the toothpaste, the fluoride in the toothpaste doesn’t stay on your teeth and cannot help strengthen your enamel.
If you cannot stand the idea of a pasty mouth for the rest of the day, rinse with a therapeutic mouthwash that contains fluoride. Cosmetic mouthwashes only help fight bad breath, so look for therapeutic mouthwashes that help fight tooth decay and help reduce plaque, gingivitis, cavities, and bad breath.
Water is a necessity of life and bottled water is a great way to ensure that you’re well-hydrated. If you don’t get enough fluoride from bottled water, consider using a toothpaste or mouthwash with fluoride.
A regular dental routine is critical for maintaining dental health. Brush twice a day, floss once a day, and visit your dentist every six months. For more information about bottled water and fluoride, or to schedule a dental appointment, contact Greenspoint Dental in Houston, Texas. We are dedicated to providing you and your loved ones with the best dental care.