What is in my water?
There is some debate over drinking tap water versus drinking filtered or bottled water. Both have their advantages and disadvantages and everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But as dentists, we encourage children to drink fluoridated tap water to help them develop strong teeth. Since the introduction of fluoride into tap water, communities have seen a dramatic decrease in childhood cavities.
In Butler County, the fluoride content is 0.97mg/l. The regulatory limit is 2 mg/l. So we are well below the amount that could potentially cause any harm. And while there is a small amount of chlorine in our water, we are even further away from the regulatory limit. Bottom line, our water is well controlled and within a healthy limit.
But the question can still be asked: Is bottled water safer than tap water? This is not necessarily true. Both the tap water and the bottled water are regulated to ensure their quality. The Environmental Protection Agency is in charge of all public water systems, and bottled water is monitored by the Food and Drug Administration. So depending on the source of the water and its treatment process, some bottled waters may contain more or less substances than your tap water. You can go online to check on the water quality information in your area.
What should you do if you don’t have fluoride in your water? We typically recommend some type of fluoride supplement if you are not getting any fluoride in your tap water. Fluoride is very important during the developmental years to help form strong and healthy teeth. Depending on the age of you or your child, and depending on their dental history, we will make specific recommendations to help keep their teeth strong. Sometimes it is a prescription toothpaste and sometimes there are ‘fluoride trays’ that can be used as supplements.