You may be wondering what bottled water could possibly have to do with your teeth. The two are linked by the topic of fluoride, which has been proven to help fight cavities and protect against gum disease. Unlike tap water in about 65% of American cities today, most bottled water does not have added fluoride. This leads to the question about whether or not drinking bottled water has a negative impact on your oral health.
Bottled water is a popular choice for many people for a variety of reasons, such as taste and convenience. As consumption of bottled water has doubled over the past decade, Americans’ daily exposure to fluoride has decreased. Studies show that fluoride significantly reduces tooth decay, so many dentists suggest drinking from your community water supply instead of bottled water.
As a result of people’s desire to protect their teeth, some bottle water companies have begun adding fluoride to their products. Listing fluoride content on the label is not required by the FDA, but it is required to list if fluoride is added at all. To find out the specific amount of fluoride added, it’s necessary to contact the bottled water manufacturer for that information.
Remember that drinking fluoridated water does not make up for good dental hygiene. You should brush your teeth at least twice daily using fluoride toothpaste, and visit your dentist regularly. If you primarily drink bottled water with no or little fluoride, and you aren’t receiving enough fluoride from other sources, your risk for cavities may increase. Your dentist will be able to tell you if additional fluoride rinses or drops may be helpful to keep your mouth in great shape.