Bottled water is a super convenient way of quenching thirst, but has this convenience helped tooth decay make a comeback? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ranked water fluoridation among the top 10 public health achievements of the 20th century. So we should all be celebrating bottled water and drinking more right? Not so fast. Water fluoridation applies to the city’s water supply that comes out of the tap, not in bottles.
How exactly does fluoride help our teeth prevent cavities? When we drink fluoride it is easily absorbed into our enamel making the tooth stronger and more resistant to decay. Fluoride is best absorbed after a meal because the tooth has been weakened from acidic bacteria. Fluoride also is absorbed by bacteria preventing metabolism of sugars. This helps to stop acid from destroying our teeth.
Bottled water has no fluoride regulation, meaning you may not be getting the cavity fighting benefits that extra fluoride can provide. Bottled water is a great way to stay hydrated, so don’t completely cut it out. Try to drink a couple glasses of tap water throughout the day in addition to your bottled water so you don’t miss out on the benefit of fluoride. As always, use fluoridated toothpaste and maintain quality oral hygiene habits.