For decades, toothpaste commercials have told us that fluoride helps prevent tooth decay, but have you wondered what makes fluoride so special? Fluoride acts as an enzyme inhibitor. For this reason it is believed to help prevent cavities by literally poisoning the bacteria in the mouth. In fact, for many years, fluoride has been added to public water supplies in much of the U.S. to reduce tooth decay.
The deal with bottled water and fluoride is that according to the American Dental Association, the majority of bottled water on the market does not contain optimal levels (0.7-1.2 ppm) of fluoride. In addition, some types of home water treatment systems often reduce the fluoride levels in water supplies, essentially decreasing the decay-preventative effects of optimally fluoridated water.
There are a number of factors that affect whether or not you’re getting enough fluoride:
● The fluoride level in your bottled water, which can vary greatly by brand. If the fluoride content does not appear on the label, contact the company and ask.
● The amount of bottled water you drink during the day.
● Whether you use bottled water for drinking, cooking or reconstituting soups, juices and other drinks.
● Whether you also drink fluoridated water at school, work or elsewhere.
Good news! There are over 20 companies that produce fluoridated bottled water, such as Absopure, Mountain Park Springs, and Wisconsin Glacier Springs. In fact, some brands can be found in major stores, like Walmart. To be certain, make it a habit to read the product label for specific content.
Regardless, fluoride is not the end all cure all. It is always important to visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and follow a daily oral health regimen.
“Fluoride alone cannot prevent all dental diseases. Be sure to brush and floss daily. Eat nutritious foods and snacks low in sugar. See your dentist regularly. You can enjoy a healthy smile for life.” (ADA 1991 brochure: Fluoride Help Prevents Tooth Decay)
For more information on whether you and/or your family are getting an adequate amount of fluoride in your daily diet, or to schedule a consultation/exam, contact the professional, friendly staff at The Dental Center at Easton Town Center today!