Does Bottled Water Harm Your Teeth?
Although bottled water may not contain the same damaging ingredients as flavoured soft drinks, it may still not be the best regular drinking option for your teeth. If you tell your dentist that you usually drink bottled rather than tap water, you may be advised to switch. Why do dentists prefer you to use your tap rather than buy a bottle?
Bottled Water and Fluoride
According to the Australian Dental Association, approximately 90% of people's tap water contains a fluoride boost. Fluoride helps protect your teeth against decay. So, if you drink fluoridated tap water, your teeth get additional protection with no effort needed on your part.
On the other hand, bottled water doesn't contain fluoride. It may not contain the damaging sugars and acids of a soft drink or fruit juice, but it cannot give you the extra protection of fluoridation that tap water provides. If you only ever drink bottled water, you may be more prone to dental problems than if you regularly drink tap water.
Beware of Flavoured Waters
A regular bottle of water may not contain anything that will harm your teeth, but you may want to be careful about drinking flavoured waters, especially if they are carbonated. These products may not be as harmful as sugary soft drinks, but they may still damage your teeth.
According to LifeCare Dental, carbonated waters contain more acids than still water, especially if they contain fruit juice flavours. This may not be a problem if you drink a bottle every now and then, but it may lead to enamel erosion if you drink this kind of water all the time.
How to Drink More Tap Water
If you've got into the habit of drinking only bottled water, you can take steps to switch to a healthier mix. This doesn't only give you additional protection for your teeth but also saves you money. According to CHOICE, drinking two litres of tap water daily will cost you around $1.50 each year; the average cost of buying two litres of bottled water instead comes to around $2,800 a year.
Try the following steps to change your habits:
- Don't keep a lot of bottles of water in the house. If you don't have a bottle of water available when you're thirsty, you're more likely to remember to turn on the tap.
- Buy a water bottle and get in to the habit of filling it up and taking it with you when you're out and about.
- If you don't like the taste of your tap water, consider buying a water filter. This may make your water taste better.