Dentistry and modern science has not been able to find a cure or prevent tooth decay, also known as dental caries. Tooth decay is the most common disease in man, found in millions of people. However over 200 million Americans have access to fluoridated tap water. Maryland community water supplies are over 99% fluoridated .Water fluoridation has prevented between 40-60% of cavities in children in these communities. If your children only drink bottled water; do they get enough fluoride to prevent tooth decay. Water with fluoride prevents tooth decay. Its main effect is during the formation of teeth. If bottled water is your main source of drinking water you are probably depriving your children of the decay preventing properties of fluoride. Bottled water is the second most popular drink beverage in this country, only being outsold by soft drinks, passing beer, milk and fruit drinks. The majority of bottled waters do not contain therapeutic levels of fluoride.
The fluoride content in bottled water varies among brands. Only the bottler would know the amount of naturally occurring fluoride in spring water. However, the majority do not contain anywhere near the optimal levels. Water where fluoride has been added is required to be labeled. Optimal levels are 0.7-1.2 ppm of fluoride. Brands of water that are produced through distillation or reverse osmosis have no fluoride content. Bottles of water with added fluoride are now appearing on the market.There are also other procedures you can do to prevent tooth decay. Everyone has bacteria which forms plaque. To prevent tooth destruction you must remove the plaque.
This is done by daily brushing and flossing. Brush at least twice a day. Floss once a day. The use of Fluoride toothpaste aids in limiting the acid effect on tooth enamel. Regular dental examinations and professional cleanings remove plaque and calculus (mineralized plaque), administer Fluoride treatments and allow for caries to be treated
early with fillings. Dental sealants (plastic protective coverings) can be applied to the biting surfaces of back
teeth; these seal the grooves where almost 90% of decay occurs, preventing decay from occurring when in place. Eat nutritious meals and limit snacking.
Children are having more decay now than in the 1980s.
This problem relates to nutrition and eating habits, but the reduced exposure to fluoridated water during tooth formation has a detrimental affect in preventing tooth decay. Parents need to rethink the advertised value of marketed healthy and stylish bottled water versus tap water. Eight ounces of fluoridated tap water per day meets the therapeutic dosage needed. Users of bottled water need to educate themselves to the need of prescription fluoride drops or tablets as diet supplements for pregnant women and children.
Dental caries is not completely preventable. No vaccine is available to prevent this common disease. Without a cure, utilize the modern dental technologies for maximum prevention and limit destruction with early treatment.