Bottled Water—An Expensive Mistake?

Bottled water. A much improved beverage choice to sodas, energy drinks, alcoholic drinks, and related, but is it all that good for your health? Tap water water fluoridation and fluoridated toothpaste are the primary methods for getting fluoride in contact with the teeth. The fact is, that bottled water may not provide the same levels of fluoride protection that most tap water does.

The ADA suggests that consumers check labels on their bottled water for fluoride content. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's current regulations don't require bottled water companies to include the fluoride content on labels unless it is an addition to the water. You can contact the company if you have additional questions about fluoride levels in their beverages. To help prevent tooth decay, the ADA identifies 0.7 to 1.2 as optimum levels of fluoride. One ppm is equal to 1 mg/L.

In addition to possibility of reduced fluoride, here are some more reasons to choose the tap over the bottle.
  • Plastic bottles are not sustainable, even with recycling.
  • Some bottled water is actually only expensive tap water.
  • Re-usable water bottles (BPA-free or stainless steel) are even more chic, and you can add ice.
  • Many plastic water bottles seep toxic chemicals into the water they contain. This is especially true when bottles are left in the heat such as a in a hot car. Advising our Florida friends to keep those water bottles away from excess heat.
Dr. Ernest McDowell also warns, "The flavored and carbonated waters that we see on store shelves contain more acid—citric and other fruit acids. These only cause tooth erosion and damage to tooth enamel. You don't have to worry about brushing your teeth after drinking tap water, but with flavored or carbonated water, you do."

Dr. Randy Feldman adds, "It may also be true that home water treatment systems are removing important fluoride from your diet. Check the manuals and websites for these devices to determine their effect on fluoride. We're supposed to drink eight to ten cups of water a day. Make sure they count. Stay hydrated my friends."