It’s National Drinking Water Week! As summer approaches, the warmer weather will increase your body’s need for water. Your body loses water through sweating, urination, and breathing—and it’s important to drink water to restore the lost liquid to keep your body strong, hydrated, and energized. Before you grab your water bottle to rejuvenate your thirst, Dr. Hussong wants to encourage you to head to the tap, instead.
Fluoride in Tap Water
According to the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, about 75 percent of a person’s fluoride intake comes from water and processed beverages. Fluoride is a mineral that helps re-mineralize and strengthen your tooth enamel to protect against cavities. About 62 percent of the U.S. population has access to adequate levels of fluoride in community water supplies. Many communities fluoridate natural tap water to provide the level recommended for optimal dental health, which is .7 to 1.2 parts per million. On the other hand, studies show that bottled water doesn’t contain enough fluoride. In fact, one study found that children consuming bottled water received 26 to 48 percent less fluoride than those who drink tap water.
Bacteria on Bottles
You may be concerned about contaminants in your tap water. However, bottled water is not as tightly regulated as tap water. In fact, one study revealed that six out of 57 samples of bottled water contained 1,000 times more bacteria than tap water. Most of the health risks associated with bottled water, however, come from the bottle itself. Each time you touch your water bottle, you are contaminating it with bacteria. Furthermore, when you drink, there is usually a little water that is backwashed into the bottle, which spreads the bacteria from your mouth back into the bottle. Friends and teammates may also share water bottles, which spread bacteria from person to person. Colds, flus, tooth decay, cold sores, and other illnesses can be passed through sharing saliva. If you want to save money this summer by reusing your water bottles, make sure you completely wash and dry the inside of the bottle before reusing it.
Water is important to keep your mouth moist to prevent dry mouth, tooth decay, gum disease, bad breath, and dry lips. Dr. Hussong can make sure you’re drinking enough safe water to protect your oral health this summer. Contact Cornerstone Dental at (515) 984-6001 to request an appointment. We welcome patients from Polk City, Ames, Ankeny, Alleman, Bondurant, Grimes, Johnston, and the surrounding communities.