Water…you can’t live without it.
Also, your best friend for optimal oral health.
But not all water is created equal! Lets talk about the best type to help protect against cavities and what you choices you may be making to jeopardize your teeth.
City of Toronto tap water…the gold standard!
In the early 1900’s a dentist in Colorado discovered that a group of his patients had very low susceptibility to tooth decay. These patients also presented with teeth that were brown in colour and exhibited pitting or mottling. Studies showed that the phenomenon was due to high fluoride levels in the local water supply. The discolouration and pitting was linked to a condition called dental fluorosis, excessive ingestion of fluoride during enamel formation.
It took a few years to determine the level of fluoride needed to reduce susceptibility to tooth decay without causing fluorosis. In 1945, Grand Rapids, Michigan was the first community to actively add fluoride to its public water supply to help prevent tooth decay. Grand Rapids added fluoride at a level of one part per million.
Toronto has been adding fluoride to its drinking water supply since 1963. The current level of fluoride in Toronto tap water is approximately 0.6 parts per million.
The City of Toronto website states:
“Studies of Toronto children 12 years after the introduction of water fluoridation and again in 2000 show that by 2000, there was a 77.4% mean reduction in decayed, missing and filled baby teeth for five year-old children. There was also a 390% increase in the percentage of children with no tooth decay when compared to rates reported prior to the addition of fluoride…The dental benefits and safety of fluoridation of drinking water a strongly supported by many health organizations including the Ontario Medical Association, the Canadian Dental Association, the Ontario Dental Association, the American Dental Association, the Public Health Dentists Association…”
I encourage you to visit their website for more information.
Most varieties of bottled water have amounts of fluoride at insignificant levels to produce any dental benefits. The increased use of bottled water in Canadian households could be limiting the amount of fluoride integrated into dental enamel. Not to mention, throwing away all those plastic bottles is very bad for our environment.
Water Filtration Systems
Do research. Charcoal filters or single stage ceramic filters purify the tap water and generally leave the fluoride ions in the water. However, certain reverse osmosis systems remove it. Check with the manufacturer of the water filtration system you have in your kitchen to see if it is removing the fluoride ion form your water system.
I have seen a large increase in the number of my patients that are throwing lemons into their drinking water. I’m certainly not going to denounce lemons, but typically we add them to our foods for added taste and do not spend prolonged time with lemon acidity in our mouths. Lemons have a pH of about 2, comparable to that of a car battery. Drinking lemon infused water for a prolonged period of time results in a continuous acid attack on your enamel, the outer protective layer of your teeth. This results in a slow erosion of your enamel, weakening and thinning it. The less enamel your teeth have, the more susceptible your teeth are to sensitivity and decay.
PS. pop drinks and coffee are not water sources!!! They dehydrate you .. keep that in mind.