Let’s face it bottled water is part of all of our lives and there are certainly some benefits for it! Having the option to buy bottled water at a gas station or convenience mart on a road trip is a great improvement over only having sodas or juices as our choices. Believe it or not that option has only been prevalent since the 1990’s. In 1987 the average American drank six gallons of bottled water a year. In 2010 the average American drank 28 gallons of bottled water a year!
All this bottled water has had an effect on tooth decay as well. The majority of store bought waters do not contain fluoride, while most tap water does. When fluoride was added to water in the 1950’s there was 29% reduction in tooth decay among four to 17 year olds. According to Dr. Burton Edestein, president of the Children’s Dental Health Project in Washington, D.C. and a professor of dentistry and health policy and management at New York City’s Columbia University in 2012, 1 in 10 two year olds, 1 in 5 three year olds, 1 in 3 four year olds and nearly half of all 5 year olds had tooth decay. Leading most researchers to believe that it is a direct effect of the reduction in fluoride consumed by our nation’s children.
So how can we help our children get the fluoride they need for strong healthy teeth? If the tap water at your house has fluoride you can simply drink tap water. If you prefer filtering your household water to eliminate possible contaminants choose a filter that does not eliminate fluoride, such as this one. You can also choose fluoride fortified foods when available and use a toothpaste approved by the American Dental Association .
Children’s teeth absorb the most fluoride, but continuing to get fluoride throughout your life will help keep your teeth strong and healthy for years to come. So take time to consider your fluoride intake and ensure that you and your children are receiving an adequate amount!