Optimal levels (0.7–1.2 ppm) of fluoride cannot be found in the majority of bottled waters. Optimally-fluoridated water can also be reduced by some home water-treatment systems.
Although the FDA does not require the fluoride content of bottled water to be listed on the label, it does require the listing of fluoride additives. Few brands list the fluoride content. If you want to know how much a particular brand of bottled water contains, contact the manufacturer.
How do you get sufficient fluoride from other sources?
- Use fluoridated toothpaste – Consider using a brand with a Seal of Acceptance from the American Dental Association.
- Ask your dentist to check your teeth for signs of insufficient fluoride. If you are deficient, your dentist can apply fluoride varnish to your teeth, or prescribe fluoride toothpaste or mouth rinse.
What about community drinking water?
Some water is naturally fluoridated. Contact your utility water provider to find out if fluoride has been added to the drinking water for your community. Some home water treatment systems remove fluoride from the water, while others do not. Check with the manufacturer of your home water treatment system for more information.
Do you really need fluoride?
Fluoride limits the growth of bacteria on your teeth. Bacteria growth leads to tooth decay, so sufficient fluoride intake helps reduce your risk of tooth decay.
Check with your dentist first
Don’t do it yourself. Too much fluoride intake can lead to fluorosis stains on your teeth. The result is noticeably spotted teeth that may require cosmetic dentistry to correct. Ask your dentist for information on how you can ensure that your teeth don’t get too much—or too little fluoride.
This post is sponsored by Colorado Springs dentist Dr. Joseph Rota.