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Bottle water or Tap?

Many people think of bottled water as better than the water you can get from a sink or drinking fountain. That may be true when it comes to taste but tap water actually has health and cost benefits that bottled water may not. Most communities in the United States have been adding flouride to public drinking water for more than 60 years.

 Q: What is flouride and how does it benefit dental health?

A: Flouride is a mineral that exists naturally in nearly all water supplies. Research proves that at a certain level in drinking water, flouride prevents tooth decay. This optimal level is reached when a public water system adjusts -- either increasing or lowering --the level of flouride.

 Q: Does flouride in drinking water protect only the teeth of children or does it benefit everyone?

 A: People of all ages benefit from drinking water that is flouridated. Oral health is important throughout a person’s life. In the 1950s, before water flouridation was common, most people over the age of 65 had lost their teeth. Now, after decades of widespread flouridation, more seniors are keeping most or all of their teeth.

Q: Why are there some groups that oppose water flouridation?

A: Some people question that the connection between flouridation and cavity prevention is not solid but scientific evidence have shown that flouridation reduces tooth decay by 18 to 40%. Several studies were released in 2010 that strengthened the already substantial evidence that flouridated water prevents cavities.

Q: Isn’t bottled water safer than tap water?

A: Bottled water is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and tap water is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency however both use similar testing standards to ensure water safety. Cities are required to send residents a report of the quality and safety of their water every year. Scientists are now studying how the chemicals used to make the plastic water bottles enter the water and effect our bodies.

Q: Are there other benefits to drinking tap water?

A: In addition to building stronger and healthier teeth, tap water is inexpensive. Bottled water costs at least 300 times more per gallon than tap water. Most of the plastic water bottles purchased end up in the garbage even though they can be recycled. Water bottles account for an extremely large portion of waste and pollution. Save money, help the environment and improve your oral health by filling a re-useable BPA free metal container.