The American Dental Association announced that its 2017 National Children’s Dental Health Month campaign is being named:
“Choose Tap Water for a Sparkling Smile.”
Bottled water has become very popular largely due to concerns about the purity and taste of tap water. It comes in several varieties including artesian well, drinking, purified, mineral, sparkling and spring.
Tap water undergoes a purification process that involves sedimentation to eliminate suspended materials, treatment with activated carbon to remove tastes and odors, filtration, and chlorination as well as other methods to kill microorganisms.
And while most bottled water manufacturers declare that their products are 100 percent “pure,” “clean” or “natural,” few brands contain one ingredient that most Americans take for granted: Fluoride.
Fluoride is a mineral found in nearly all water supplies but usually at a level too low to prevent tooth decay. That’s why so many communities add a little more fluoride to drinking water. This process is called “fluoridation” and it raises fluoride to the level known to prevent or reverse tooth decay.
Unfortunately, many types of bottled water do not have enough fluoride to prevent cavities. If you purchase bottled water, you are spending more money and your children’s teeth are probably not getting the benefits of fluoride.
The leading health and medical organizations endorse fluoridation as safe and effective for reducing tooth decay. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fluoridation is so effective because it provides teeth with frequent contact with low levels of fluoride throughout the day.
Sure, brushing regularly is important, but drinking tap water that is fluoridated provides additional protection. (Note: You can find more information about water fluoridation on the Campaign for Dental Health’s Fluoridation Questions page. This CDC Web page can help you confirm whether your local water supply is fluoridated.)
More than 144 million United States residents in more than 10,000 communities drink fluoridated tap water, providing an automatic defense against the harmful ingredients that cause such a preventable oral health disease.
Instead of drilling holes to fix cavities, dentists would rather educate the public on how to avoid developing tooth decay in the first place, and drinking tap water to receive fluoride is safe, and easier on your wallet than going to the dentist for a filling.
If you have any questions regarding your child’s dental health – or if it’s time for a checkup – call our office today to schedule an appointment!