Tap vs. Filtered vs. Bottled: What’s in Your Water?

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Water. It’s an essential part of our daily lives. Heck, our body is made up mostly of the stuff. Water keeps our internal organs and systems functioning properly, it regulates body temperature, removes waste, cushions our joints and transports nutrients and oxygen throughout our bodies. Americans drink an average of 30 gallons of bottled water each year, according to the CDC. That’s great news … or is it? 

An Important Missing Factor 

Bottled waters are missing a key ingredient to oral health – fluoride. This naturally-occurring mineral helps fight tooth decay and prevent cavities, which is vitally important for both adults and kids. It works like this; your mouth is full of bacteria that feed on the sugars in the foods we eat and the beverages we drink. This produces acid that can wear away your enamel, leading to cavities. Fluoride protects teeth by making them stronger and more resistant to acid. It not only reduces the risk of cavities, but it can help reverse early signs of decay. Due to its success in preventing cavities, fluoride in tap water was named a top public health achievement in the 20th century, according to the American Dental Association (ADA). 

Is Tap Water Safe? 

All tap water is regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA oversees the safety of tap water and makes sure that is disinfected, filtered of all pathogens and tested for microorganisms. The vast majority of all community water is fluoridated, including Lincoln. 

Is Bottled Water Bad? 

While drinking water is great, especially compared to sugary drinks, the fluoride content of many bottled waters varies dramatically. When water is treated before it is bottled, fluoride may be lost. The ADA recommends checking the bottle’s label for fluoride content. If it’s not shown on the label, contact the company and ask. Water should contain 0.7 to 1.2 ppm of fluoride. 

What About Filtered Water? 

Filtered water contains a reduced amount of contaminants, like chlorine, zinc and other minerals but depending on what filter you use, you could be filtering out fluoride as well. Reverse osmosis or distillation systems will remove fluoride from water. Carbon filters, like those found in refrigerator pitchers, keeps the fluoride in, according to one of the leading brands. 

A Fluoride Treatment May Be Needed 

If you still see yourself only drinking bottled water, let Dr. Vacek know, as he may recommend a fluoride treatment or supplement for better oral health. Remember it is important that you and your family get enough fluoride to help your teeth fight off cavities and tooth decay. Contact us today to see how Dr. Vacek can keep your teeth healthy for life. 

Dr. Craig Vacek