The Big Problem Dentists Have With Bottled Water

Many of us might already know that bottled water isn't great for the environment. Single use plastic bottles contribute to the accumulation of plastic waste in landfills, where they end up leaching chemicals into the ground that can harm plants, animals, and local wild and marine life, according to One Green Planet. And that's not all — some of the chemicals that are used to make plastic bottles could leech into the water we drink, which can lead to health issues. But that isn't even the only reason health experts don't recommend using bottled water. It turns out, there is one surprising area where drinking bottled water can negatively impact your health — your teeth. 

According to Tennessee Family Dental, bottled water, unlike tap water, does not contain fluoride, which is an ion that helps improve tooth health. Studies have shown that drinking tap water with added fluoride can reduce the rates of tooth decay from 18 to 40%, so people, particularly children, who do not get fluoride from their drinking water are more prone to cavities, tooth decay, and other teeth issues.

Drinking bottled water may contribute to tooth issues

While many doctors suggest adding fluoride toothpaste or rinses to help supplement tooth health, that is often not enough, especially for growing children younger than six years old. "If they are not drinking a significant amount of tap water and are only drinking filtered, bottled water without measured levels of fluoride, then they could developmentally have problems," Dr. Tema Starkman of High Line Dentistry warned (via Greenwich Dental Group).

Some types of bottled water may also have low PH levels, which can also be harmful to teeth. Brands like Smartwater, Aquafina, or Dasani, have a PH level below 5.5, which is the point where drinks are acidic enough to damage teeth. PH levels that are acidic can erode tooth enamel and lead to tooth issues over time. So, although many people choose to drink bottled water because they believe it is cleaner and healthier than regular tap water, that may not actually be the case. In some instances, bottled water may actually contribute to a greater risk of long term tooth problems and other health issues.