Friday, October 25, 2013

Bottled or Tap Water? Dr. DiStefano, Your Howell Family Dentist Weighs In!

Are you encouraging your family to make healthier choices?

It’s widely known that diet and exercise are key to a healthy lifestyle.  Part of a healthy diet is adequate hydration. 

Americans drink over 8 billion gallons of bottled water a year.  Not all brands of bottled water contain fluoride, the natural mineral that prevents tooth decay.  Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and re-mineralizes teeth damaged by acid. Fluoride is also in many toothpastes and dental rinses, and can be applied as a varnish or gel by dentists. 
Unfortunately, most bottlers don’t clearly list on their label whether or not their water is fluoridated.  The U.S Food and Drug Administration doesn’t currently require that bottles be labeled with the level of fluoride, unless it’s purposefully added during processing. 

Did you know that it’s estimated that half of all 5 year-olds have visual evidence of tooth decay?  In 2009, an Eastern Virginia Medical School conducted a study and found that almost 70 percent of parents gave their children bottled water to drink. They did so for the convenience, preference for the taste and smell, and fear of tap water contamination. 

Keep in mind, however, that studies have not proven that the increased consumption of bottled water is directly correlated to a rise in tooth decay.  High-sugar diets could in fact be the main culprit, though Dr. Jonathan Shenkin, an American Dental Association spokesman, states that “Fluoridated tap water is now believed by experts to reduce the risk of tooth decay by about 25 percent.”  It’s the single most effective and economical way to prevent tooth decay and it’s widely available through tap water.

If you’re concerned that you and your family are not getting enough fluoride, please call to schedule an appointment with Dr. DiStefano.  He and his staff will discuss your concerns and help you decide if a fluoride treatment is necessary.  Dr. DiStefano and Associates truly care about helping you improve your family’s health. 

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  • Brushing & Flossing Best Practices
  • Tips for Your Child's First Visit to the Dentist
  •  What to Do If You Have a Dental Emergency
  • Helpful Information About Head, Neck, Jaw and Facial Pain