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Beware the Bottle! Cavities Are on the Rise

Hello, New Albany! Welcome back to the ongoing blog from the office of New Albany Implants. It is our mission to help the wonderful people of Southern Indiana protect their oral health. This blog is only one of the ways in which we reach out to you with information and ideas about oral hygiene and modern dentistry. Having a reliable source of information will allow you to make wise decisions about your oral health, so we are excited to be that reliable source for you.

The rate of cavities among children, once thought to be under control, is on the rise again in America. What could be responsible for this recent development in oral health? Are children eating more candy? Drinking more sugary sodas? Brushing their teeth less? No on all counts. The real culprit behind the increase in tooth decay among children is coming from something that is otherwise good for them. Water. Bottled water, to be exact.

For more than 60 years, now water fluoridation in public water sources has been a standard health practice, and as a result tooth decay has been at a nationwide low. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that strengthens tooth enamel, especially in children, whose teeth are still growing. In most cases bottled water does not contain enough fluoride to effectively fight tooth decay. Unless the original source of the water has fluoride, or it is added as an extra ingredient, bottled water will not give your teeth the extra protection tap water will.

Why Do So Many People Choose Bottled Water?

Taste – Many people choose bottled water because they believe it tastes better than tap water. Some believe the chemicals used to treat tap water, and the pipes through which they travel, affect the flavor of the water. However, in multiple taste test performed by various entities, the public has not been able to tell the difference between bottles water and tap water. On top of that, several bottled water companies admit to using public tap water as the source of their bottled water. In other words, sometimes bottled water is tap water.

Convenience – Many choose bottled water because it is conveniently packaged and easy to buy. Ultimately, this is a good thing because it means they are not buying and drinking sugar filled soda and juices. But with a little planning, you can just keep a refillable water bottle with you for a cheap and convenient alternative to bottled water. Fill it up at any tap, and add some ice if you want to keep it cold.

Misconceptions About Health and Water Safety – A common reason for choosing bottled water over tap water is that nobody knows what’s in public water. This is absolutely untrue. The US government requires that the water company disclose what is in the water and what they use to treat it. The FDA does not require bottled water companies to do this.

Also, just because water came from a natural source does not mean it is safe to drink. Many natural springs contain microbes and contaminants that will make you very sick. Springs are often supplied by groundwater that includes runoff from animal pastures. This means the water is filtered through animal waste on its way to the spring. The idea that natural is better is one of the most dangerous misconceptions when it comes to food. There are plenty of natural things that will make you sick, this includes springwater.

Why Not Choose Bottled Water?

No Verifiable Health Benefits – Certainly, drinking water is good for you, and this includes bottled water. Any time someone chooses water over a soft drink, health prevails. But there is no evidence that bottled water is better for you than tap water. So, drink bottled water occasionally, if that is what is available. But drinking it exclusively is not a wise choice.

Bad for the Environment – All those plastic bottles have to go somewhere. Sure, they can be recycled, and they should be. But even recycling takes its toll on the environment by using up natural resources in the process of melting down plastic and glass and other recyclables. The best way to protect the environment is not to recycle; it’s to not create so much trash in the first place.

Bad for Your Teeth – In addition to creating more trash, bottled water creates more cavities. As we mentioned above the lack of fluoride in bottled water is leaving your teeth more vulnerable to the ravages of decay.

To learn more about how to protect your teeth from decay, contact New Albany Implants to schedule an appointment.