2/6/02 - Crucial Element for Healthy Teeth Could be Missing from Bottled Water

Bottled water makers promise that their water is pure and clean.

That may be true, but it could be so pure, it's actually hurting your teeth.
When you drink bottled water, you may not be drinking fluoride, and the American Dental Association says that means drinking certain brands of bottled water could be putting you and your kids at a higher risk of having dental problems.

Dentist Dr. Bob Fox says, "Usually people who drink bottled water do it because they think it's cleaner than tap water, but that's not always the case."  But that's not stopping people from picking up a bottle at the gym, or taking a big sip while on the job. Water is the healthiest way to quench your thirst, but the fluoride that's missing from some bottles could cause you dental problems.  Dr. Fox says, "Chances are they are going to have more cavities, they're going to be more susceptible to decay than somebody on fluoride."

You don't have to look hard to find water with fluoride.  In most cities, tap water is fluorinated. There are some bottled waters that have fluoride in them, but if it's not clearly marked, there's a good chance there's no fluoride in the water.  The only way you'll find out how much it has, is to call the people who make it.  But that's not all. Some companies put just a small amount of fluoride in their water, while others add the amount you need.  It all just depends on where the water comes from.  "Bottled water makers use a process to (quote), purify water, it's not really distilled water and that process removes fluoride, in others it does not. It just depends on the process," Dr. Fox says.

While it's good for you and your kids to get fluoride, you need to watch how much you get. Too much fluoride could be as damaging as too little. Talk to your dentist to make sure you're getting the right amount