It is common knowledge that water is good for us, but the bad news is that not all water is the right choice. We need water to keep our body and teeth healthy, but if we are choosing to drink bottled water, it could be depriving our body of one very important nutrient – fluoride. Believe it or not, regardless of the large push for communities to add fluoride to a water supply to help enhance oral health, bottled water typically goes through a process that removes the fluoride from the water, leaving our teeth without this needed nutrient. If we drink an abundance of bottled water, this information could be crucial to our overall oral health.
Why Is Fluoride Important?
Fluoride is responsible for fighting tooth decay, especially in children; it is also responsible for helping teeth remineralize after being attacked by the acid and sugar in the food and drinks that we consume. When there is an overabundance of acid and sugar in our mouth compared to the amount of fluoride, the result could be excessive tooth decay and breakdown of our tooth enamel. Fluoride can help to reverse early tooth decay or prevent it from occurring in the first place when consumed in adequate amounts.
How Much Fluoride Do We Need?
According to the American Dental Association, the average 160-pound person needs to consume 4 mg of fluoride on a daily basis in order for it to have a benefit to oral health. Because the main source of fluoride comes from water, if we are drinking bottled water, we might not be getting an adequate amount of this mineral. In addition, if we are drinking bottled water that removes the fluoride from its water; we are not receiving any fluoride at all, which could be harming our overall oral health.
What Can We Do?
If we are committed to drinking bottled water over our community’s tap water for reasons other than our dental health, there are other ways that we can supplement with this mineral. The first step is determining whether or not the water that we drink contains fluoride. If it in fact does not, or we do not drink enough water in the first place, it is important to talk to the dentist about this to see where we can receive supplements in our diet and/or oral health habits to ensure that our teeth are able to gain the many benefits of fluoride.