Hello, Orlando! Welcome back to another interest grabbing installment of the blog from the office of Overmeyer Family Dental. As you may or may not be aware, but just after the second World War fluoridation of public water sources began. Decades later, nearly every major public water source is fortified with fluoride. As a result, the number of people suffering from tooth decay dropped dramatically, especially in children.
But a recent study suggests that tooth decay in children is on the rise once again. What could account for this. Are children eating more candy and sweets? Are parents more lax when it comes to dental care? Are dental visits no longer a priority? There is no evidence to suggest any of these are responsible for kids getting more cavities these days.
Then what could it be? The evidence points somewhere you might not expect, bottled water. Over the past couple of decades, bottled water has become increasingly more popular, and unlike public tap water, most bottled waters do not contain added fluoride. As a result, some children are becoming fluoride deficient, which means more cavities.
The Convenience Can’t Be Beat
One of the reasons bottled water has become so popular is that it is easy to get and relatively inexpensive. You’ll find it in any convenience store, pharmacy, or grocery cooler, right there next to the sugar filled sodas and sports drink. Truth be told, this is a good thing. Fluoride or no fluoride, water is always better than sugary soft drinks.
The problem comes when people choose to drink bottled water instead of tap water at all times. In this case, the lack of fluoridation is going to cause problems. For one thing, ingested fluoride helps to build strong teeth when they are forming, which is why it is important for children to drink fluoridated water. Also, when fluoride makes direct contact with your enamel, it forms a protective barrier that fight plaque and tooth decay.
Though it is true that bottled water is a healthy alternative to most drinks in a pinch, with a little preparation, you never have to rely on access to bottled water. Simply keep a refillable water bottle with you at all times and you never have worry about going thirsty, or buying bottled water, again.
Misleading Health Claims
One of the biggest reasons some people opt for bottled water over tap water is that they believe bottled water is somehow better for you. However, there is no reason to believe this. The fact is, there is not nearly as much regulation governing what goes into bottled water as there is for public water. Also, the government mandates that the water company disclose everything that goes into public tap when it is treated. There is no such mandate for bottled water.
The idea that bottled water is safer because it is “natural” is not only ridiculous, it is dangerous. Spring water, for example, although it is natural, is often filled with danger parasites, microbes, pollution, and animal waste. Sometimes “natural” can be deadly.
Does Bottled Water Taste Better?
Another common claim is that bottled water is better tasting than tap water. But multiple studies and taste tests have shown that the general public cannot tell the difference between bottled water and tap water.
It’s also worth mentioning that many bottled water companies have admitted to selling tap water, further disproving the myth that bottled water is better than tap water.
To make sure your teeth stay healthy and clean, schedule a cleaning and examination at Overmeyer Family Dental.
Contact us today to make an appointment.