Hey there, Houston! Antoine Dental Center is back again with another blog entry designed to keep you thinking about your oral health, and to help you with preventive care between your visits to our office right here in Houston. This ongoing blog is only part our mission to keep you informed on matters of oral health, so that you never have to worry about your teeth or gums getting in the way of what you want out of life.
Once thought to be under control, the rate of tooth decay among children is once again on the rise. Although sugary and high acid sports drink and juices are part of the problem, the main contributor to the uptick in cavities in children may be surprise. It’s bottled water.
Since the 1950s, over 70% of the public water sources in America have been fluoridated, and as a result, the rate of tooth dropped dramatically. Fluoride has the natural ability to strengthen the enamel protecting your teeth, and equally as important, it helps stop plaque from from on your teeth and fights the dental caries that cause tooth decay.
Although many water sources contain fluoride naturally, it is seldom enough to have any effect on your teeth. So bottled water, whether it’s from an exotic spring or distilled in a warehouse, does not have the benefit of strengthening your teeth with fluoride.
Why Is Bottled Water So Popular?
It is undeniable that bottled water has grown in popularity over the past decade. Here are some of the reasons why.
Flavor – When asked why they prefer bottled water to tap water, many people claim it all comes down to the taste. They do not like the taste of tap water because of the chemicals used to treat it and the flavor leached from the pipes it travels through. However, in taste test after taste test, the general public has proven that they cannot tell the difference between bottled water and tap.
On top of that, many bottled water companies have admitted that they use tap water as the primary source of the product. So, sometimes even bottled water is tap water. The bad news is, you are being misled about what you are buying and putting in your body. The good news is, if your bottled water is indeed tap water, you are likely getting a healthy dose of fluoride!
Easy Access – There is no denying the convenience of bottled water, especially when you are in a hurry and making a quick beverage purchase. This is actually a good thing about bottled water. Since it is so conveniently packaged and relatively inexpensive, it is a healthy alternative to the sugary sodas that sit right next to it in the store cooler.
It should be noted, though, that a little planning is all you need to have easy access to healthy, cold water. Simply keep a refillable bottle filled with ice and tap water with you, and you will always have access to refreshing water that will help protect your teeth.
Misinformation – Unfortunately, much of the appeal to bottled water comes from unfounded beliefs about its health benefits. The truth of the matter is that the safety regulations for tap water are much more strict than that of bottled water. And the idea that spring water is somehow more safe to drink than tap water is downright dangerous. Springs are often polluted by runoff from roads and fields. If there is a farm nearby, you can almost guarantee there is some animal feces in that spring water.
What’s So Bad about Bottled Water?
If bottled water were a once in a while substitute for sodas, there wouldn’t be much of a problem. The problem arises when people use bottled water exclusively, even in their home where tap water is readily accessible. Not only is this bad for your teeth, it is extremely bad for your environment.
All those plastic bottles have to go somewhere, and they are not going to biodegrade any time soon. Even though you can recycle these bottles, that still uses up precious resources and leaves a sizeable carbon footprint. Whereas a refillable water can be used over and over again indefinitely.
Preventive Care in Houston, TX
At Antoine Dental Center, we can help you understand the value of fluoride, as well as provide other means of keeping your teeth healthy and looking great.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment.