As we frequently hear, hydration with eight glasses of water is good for our overall health and for our oral health. Municipal water supplies in the US should be safe and for the most part are very safe, but because of the reports of a few notable exceptions like the water problems in Flint Michigan, there is a huge market for bottled water.
Bottled Water v. Tap Water
All water is created equal right? When it comes to bottled water vs. tap this is not always the case. The EPA is responsible for monitoring public drinking water supplies and the FDA is responsible for bottled water beverages including “flavor and nutrient added water beverages”, other water beverages, carbonated water, and soft drinks.
Tap water is regulated to ensure it has a neutral pH of about 7 (water quality regulations specify that the pH of tap water should be between 6.5 and 9.5). Because of this it normally doesn’t contribute to the erosion of tooth enamel. In addition, most public drinking water has fluoride added which helps prevent tooth decay. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ranks water fluoridation among the top ten public health achievements of the 20th century because it has proved so effective in helping to reduce tooth decay.
Most bottled waters do not contain fluoride and the additives, minerals, salts, sugar, sugar substitutes, etc. in many bottled water products can substantially alter their pH. When it comes to your teeth, some bottled water can increase plaque buildup, and lead to tooth decay especially when consumed in excessive amounts.
Maintaining Oral Health
If you decide to go the route of consuming bottled beverages be sure to read the labels. Consume bottled water, flavored beverages, and soft drinks in moderation, and make sure you’re getting enough fluoride. As always practice good oral health to protect your beautiful smile!