Does Bottled Water Contribute to Tooth Decay?
According to Canadian Dental Association president Dr. Jack Cottrell, it is not bottled water itself that causes decay but the water’s lack of fluoride. Fluoride is a natural mineral that strengthens the structure of teeth to prevent decay. The World Dental Congress has raised the lack of fluoridation in bottled water as a concern regarding tooth decay in children.
If your main source of drinking water is bottled water, you could be missing the decay prevention fluoride provides. Here are several ways to get fluoride and protect teeth:
- Fluoride Toothpaste
Over 95 percent of toothpaste sold contains fluoride. However, excessive fluoride can damage teeth. Parents should supervise young children while they brush, and only a pea-sized amount of toothpaste should be used. Children under the age of 3 may only use toothpaste that does not contain fluoride. Babies’ gums can be cleaned with a soft cloth and warm water.
- Tea Drinks
Tea plants absorb fluoride from the soil, making their leaves rich in fluoride. You can get three to four ppm fluoride from brewed black tea, while most commercial iced tea drinks contain one to four ppm.
- Swish with Fluoride Mouthwash
Rinsing your mouth with a fluoride mouthwash washes away sugar residue and creates a protective layer against bacteria and acid attack on your teeth. Read the label carefully or ask your dentist for recommendations.
- Fluoride Treatment
Fluoride treatment involves brushing your teeth with a fluoride coating or wearing fluoride foam trays for a few minutes. Talk to a dentist about your child’s cavity risk and whether they can benefit from a fluoride treatment.
- Fluoride Supplements
Fluoride supplements may be beneficial for toddlers and children who still have baby teeth. Supplements also help permanent teeth grow stronger before they erupt through the gums. Talk to your pediatrician and dentist before giving your child supplements
While fluoride is beneficial for keeping teeth and gums healthy, ingesting more than the recommended amount can be detrimental to health. Whether you want to protect your children from tooth decay or are concerned about health and development issues associated with fluoride consumption, talk to a trusted dentist.
Call Lambton Shores Family Dental at (519) 704-1400 to arrange a consultation. Our team of licensed dentists will be happy to explain the recommended safe, healthy level of fluoride for you, your children, and your entire family.