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Everyone has heard that you should drink at least eight 8 ounce glasses of water a day. That seems like a lot to most people. In light of the fact that nearly 75% of your body is comprised of water, expert’s suggestions actually make a lot of sense. Being hydrated is an integral part of health.

One consideration as you’re upping your water intake: pay attention to what is in the water you drink.

Most water naturally contains fluoride, a micronutrient. It’s known (in small doses) to prevent tooth decay and contributes to the support of strong teeth and bones. In an effort to ensure residents – especially children – maintain good oral health; many communities add fluoride to their water supply. This generally happens when it doesn’t have adequate parts per billion to effectively strengthen teeth.

Bottled water has become the norm for convenience in water consumption, and while it is certainly better for you than sugary drinks and even sports drinks, none of the current market choices contain a level of fluoride that matches the amounts in most municipal water supplies. Why not? Many of the popular brands of bottled water undergo a process of reverse osmosis, or distillation, treatments which remove all the nutrients and minerals from water. If bottled water is your primary source for drinking, you might be missing some preventive benefits. Be sure everyone in your family – especially children – are getting an amount that will assist them now and in the future.

You may want to examine the label of water for fluoride content. According to Michigan Smiles, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not require bottled water companies to indicate fluoride content on the label unless it has been purposefully added. Unless posted, it’s safe to assume no fluoride is included.

Where else can I find fluoride?

In dentistry, we commonly use products that are fluoridated. These might be toothpastes, mouth rinses, or a ‘paint-on’ varnish for cavity-prone patients. You also will find fluoride naturally in Black tea, raisins, wine, baked potatoes, carrots and lamb.

Please ask me or our hygienists if you have evidence that you or your family members are cavity prone. We can make the right suggestion to lower your future dental costs and protect everyone’s teeth. Keep drinking water – your body needs it to be healthy…and your smile will benefit, too!

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