Bottled Water & Tooth Decay

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The usual culprits of junk food and soda are still causing cavities, but an unusual suspect may also be contributing to more trips to the dentist for your kids. That suspect is bottled water.

It's not the products themselves but their lack of fluoride that dentists say can lead to tooth decay. Fluoride was first added to tap water in Grand Rapids, Michigan about 60 years ago. Since then the incidence of tooth decay has greatly reduced.

But just in this past year, the number of Americans drinking bottled water has increased nearly 10 percent. Many people feel bottled water is healthier, or tap water could be unsafe. But Lansing Board of Water and Light spokesman says neither is true. Dentists say strictly drinking bottled water could lead to more cavities.

For parents whose families only drink bottled water, dentists recommend considering using tap or at least checking with your dentist to see if your child gets enough fluoride from their toothpaste.