Bottled water has become so popular that some supermarkets reserve an entire aisle for this beverage. There are countless brands, bottle sizes and now some have flavor added. If you routinely give your children bottled water to drink or if you use bottled water to mix your baby’s formula, then there’s something you should know: most bottled waters do not contain a sufficient amount of fluoride to prevent tooth decay. Read on to learn more about fluoride and its importance to your children’s dental health from Montrose, CO pediatric dentist Dr. Derren Tippets.

What is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a mineral that is found in the earth’s crust and in natural water supplies. Back in the 1930s, researchers discovered that people who drank naturally fluoridated water had as many as two-thirds fewer cavities than people who did not drink fluoridated water. And when fluoride was added to a community’s water supply, the incidence of tooth decay decreased. Now, many health organizations—including the American Dental Association—endorse the addition of fluoride to community water supplies.

How Does Fluoride Work?

Fluoride works to prevent tooth decay in two ways. First, as your child matures, fluoride concentrates in their bones and developing teeth. This concentration helps to make enamel harder on their baby teeth and on their yet to emerge adult teeth. Secondly, once permanent teeth have emerged, fluoride helps to harden the enamel on them, as well.

Fluoride and Remineralization

After your child eats, acids in saliva demineralize the calcium and phosphorous in your child’s teeth. Alternatively, when the acid level in saliva is low, calcium and phosphorous are replenished. With sufficient fluoride in your child’s diet, this process of remineralization makes these two mineral deposits harder, thereby strengthening your child’s teeth and making tooth decay less likely.

Bottled Water and Fluoride

According to a report from the American Dental Association, most bottled water contains little to no fluoride. Reverse osmosis or distillation removes all traces of fluoride from the water.

To make sure your family, especially young children, are getting an optimal amount of fluoride from bottled water, read the label for fluoride content. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires companies to indicate fluoride content if it is added to bottled water. If fluoride content is listed, call the company to find out how much fluoride is added. To prevent cavities, water needs to contain 0.7 to 1.2 ppm (parts per million or milligram) per liter.

And while you’re checking, make sure your child is using fluoride toothpaste that has the American Dental Association seal of approval.

Call Your Montrose, CO Pediatric Dentist Today

To learn more about how your can help your children avoid cavities, contact Montrose, CO children’s dentist Dr. Tippets at Treasured Teeth.