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Bottled Water vs. Tap Water

Posted on February 19, 2015 in Cavities, Common Questions


As concerns have risen over the purity and integrity of our country's tap water, so has the number of people who have begun purchasing and drinking from bottled and filtered water.

It seems like the logical and responsible thing to do, especially when it comes to the health and safety of our children.

But did you know that, according to an Australian study conducted between 1991 and 1995, children who drank solely filtered or bottled water had an increased rate of childhood cavities by over 52%.

This is due to the lack of exposure to the fluoride that is present in tap water.

Fluoride is a mineral that was added to our public tap water back in 1940.  It acts like a boost to one's enamel, which is the substance that defends teeth against cavities.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "the fluoridation of drinking water one of the top ten public health achievements of the 20th century."  They also note that studies have shown that the consumption of fluoridated tap water reduces cavities in adolescents by 8 to 37 percent and in adults by 20 to 40 percent.

But this does not alleviate the problem of ingesting the less desirable trace elements that are present in some tap water (elements like perchlorate, lead, and hexavalent chromium).  Does one have to choose between ingesting fluoridated yet contaminated tap water and non-contaminated yet non-fluoridated bottled water?

Fortunately, no.

Not all filtered or bottled waters are totally devoid of fluoride.

Brita filters do not strip it out of tap water, and some bottled brands such as Nursery Water advertise that they actually add fluoride.  In order to encourage bottled water companies to provide fluoridated water, the ADA has introduced a certification program for foods and beverages that are beneficial to oral health, including fluoridated bottled water.

Filters to avoid, though, are the reverse osmosis water filters.  They actually strip out all minerals, including fluoride.

There are so many things to consider when maintaining the oral health of not only yourself, but your children as well.  Here at Montgomery Dentistry, we care a  great deal about the health of our clients.  We greatly stress that if there is only one decision that you are able to make regarding your dental and oral health, it is to stay up to date on your professional cleanings.

Please contact us if you ever have any questions about oral health issues.

Header photo by: Laenulf Ean

Photo Credit: Laenulf Ean


About the Author

Dr. Jay L. Robertson

Dr. Jay L. Robertson

Dr. Jay Robertson joined our practice in July 2008.  He is from Montgomery and is a graduate of Saint James School, Birmingham-Southern College, and the University of Alabama, Birmingham School of Dentistry.  He is a member of the American Dental Association, the Alabama Dental Association and the Academy of General Dentistry.

Dr. Robertson and his wife Jennifer have four children, John Campbell, Julian, Lowe, and Ansley.

Dr. Robertson serves on the board of the Montgomery Quarterback Club and is a member of the First United Methodist Church of Montgomery. When not at work, Dr. Robertson enjoys all things sports, including Auburn, golf, and his children’s various sports.

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