Welcome back, Monroe! As you remember from the last blog from the office of Bayou Dental Group, here in Monroe, LA, fluoride is an essential component of your oral health routine. It is right up there with brushing your teeth. In fact, the two often go hand in hand, since most toothpastes contain fluoride.
Fluoride strengthens and repairs your enamel, while simultaneously fighting the causes of tooth decay. For over half a century now, fluoride has been added to most public water supplies, in effort to increase the oral health of the nation. And it worked. Since, water fluoridation became the norm, this country has seen record lows in instances of tooth decay. Water fluoridation in America has been so successful that other countries are adopting the practice.
However, in recent years we have seen an increasing number of cavities, especially in children. While many blame poor eating habits, and others blame parents not enforcing health oral hygiene habits, the evidence points squarely at one distinct culprit: bottled water.
The Oral Health Effects of Drinking Bottled Water
The only real problem with bottled water, at least as far as your oral health is concerned, is that is not fluoridated. But this is a big problem. Without fluoride to step in and aid your mouth’s natural defenses against bacteria and acid, your teeth are much more vulnerable to tooth decay. And since ingested fluoride helps to build stronger enamel in developing teeth, children who do not get enough fluoride will be more likely to experience tooth decay.
Why Is Bottled Water So Popular, Anyway?
First of all, we want to take a moment to mention what’s great about bottled water. It is, after all, water, and anytime you choose water over a sugary soda, your oral health wins. That is what is so great about bottled water, it makes choosing water instead of a less healthy beverage easy and convenient. However, it comes with a downside.
Another reason people seem to choosing bottled water is that they have misconceptions about the healthfulness of bottled water compared to public tap water. It is common to hear someone say they stay away from tap water because “nobody knows what’s in it”. this is just plain untrue. Public water companies are under strict regulations to account for everything that goes into their water supply, including fluoride. Private water bottlers are under no such regulations. In fact, sometimes it’s hard to find out where bottled water even comes from.
Taste is often cited as a reason some prefer bottled water over tap water. But when put to a taste test, Americans don’t seem to be able to tell the difference. Multiple studies have shown that people will choose tap water just as often as they will choose bottled water in a blind taste test.
Why Not Choose Bottled Water
By this point, we have certainly made clear the oral health risks associated with drinking bottled water. But this does not apply to the occasional bottle instead of a sugary soda. The real damage comes when you drink bottled water exclusively, even at home.
Drinking so much bottled creates one serious problem not related to your oral health. That problem is trash. Landfills are overflowing with empty plastic that take roughly 450 years to decompose. Which means every time you throw away a plastic water bottle, you are leaving for future generations to deal with for the next few centuries.
Visit Bayou Dental Group
Keeping regular appointments at our office in Monroe, LA will allow us to help you keep your teeth and gums healthy and looking great.
Contact us today to schedule a cleaning and examination.