Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bottled Water May Be Behind Tooth Troubles

We at Cory Liss Orthodontics want you to know that as more families turn to bottled water and away from the tap, they may be missing out on one important ingredient that most brands of bottled water fail to include: fluoride!

Bottled water is becoming increasingly popular in Canada over the past decade, and though it is regulated by the Food and Drugs Act and Regulations, bottled water manufacturers are not not required to include fluoride. Many dental health specialists point to bottled water’s increased popularity as the culprit behind rising rates of cavities.

Because fluoride helps strengthen teeth, it is an important component of maintaining good oral health. The benefits of fluoride were noticed in the early part of the twentieth century, when researchers found communities with low levels of tooth decay. It turned out that these towns had measurable levels (around 1 part per million) of fluoride in their drinking water.

Fluorinated tap water is used across Canada, and around 40% of Canadians have fluoride in their tap water. Fluoride concentrations in these communities is typically 0.8 to 1.0 mg/L. Health Canada, the Canadian Public Health Association, the Canadian Dental Association and the Canadian Medical Association endorse both community water fluoridation and the use of fluoride-containing products as a safe means of preventing tooth decay. Between tap water and toothpaste, most of us get sufficient amounts of fluoride.

But if your family avoids fluoridated tap water in favor of ever-more-popular bottled water, you could be missing out on the levels of fluoride necessary to make a difference in your oral health. If bottled water is your water of choice, check the label to make sure that your brand contains fluoride.

Of course, simply drinking fluoridated water is not a magic ticket to perfect teeth. To keep your choppers in tip-top shape, it’s important to brush and floss daily and avoid sugary sweets, in addition to maintaining your fluoride intake and visiting us at Cory Liss Orthodontics regularly.