Is Bottled Water Rotting Our Children's Teeth?Michael Schmid
Many of us give our kids bottled water versus tap water for a variety of reasons… convenience, taste and in many cases because we think it’s more healthy.
Surprising information has come to light recently that suggests our increased use of bottled water may contribute to increased tooth decay in our children.
Even more alarming is the news from another study that showed two U.S. demographic groups are more at risk than others. Are your children at risk?
If you are like me you probably didn’t waste much thought about giving your kids bottled water and any potentially negative effects it might have. If anything, we focused on potential BPA or phthalate content concerns… or about the environmental impact of all of those bottles.
As it happens, though, it’s not something harmful that’s leaching into the water from its bottle that’s raising this concern about our children’s dental health. Instead what’s NOT in the water that’s at the center of this issue.
Bottled water has been shown in many cases to have significantly reduced amounts of fluoride when compared to what comes out of your kitchen tap. With good intentions, I filter our tap water, and expect it may cause a similar reduction?
According to the CDC bottled water in combination with other sources of fluoride (e.g. fluoride toothpaste) and the thoroughness of your children’s dental care (brushing, flossing and dentist visits) may affect their susceptibility to cavities.
In another bottled water study it was found that African American and Latino parents were more likely to give their children mostly bottled water, primarily due to the belief it was healthier. Exclusive bottled water consumption was three times less likely in non-Latino white children.
Clearly (pun not intended), giving our kids water from any source is healthier than giving them sugary or high-fructose corn-syrup ladened soft drinks; and some bottled water makers are now offering a fluoridated water option.
While the results are not definitive, given the many things that affect our children’s dental health, the reduction in fluoride caused by the consumption of bottled versus tap water is something you should discuss with your children’s dentist.
What do you think? It seems like there’s always a new health scare popping up, just when we begin to think we’ve figure things out. I guess we can only do our best with the information we have, and adjust tomorrow when it all changes again?