Packaged drinking water: Does it increase the risk of cavities?

Updated on:30 September 2021, 12:44pm IST
Tooth decay has become increasingly common over the last few years, but did you know packaged drinking water can be one of the biggest causes. Here’s why!
tooth decay
Packaged drinking water could increase the likelihood of tooth decay. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Ever wondered where your drinking water is coming from. What’s the difference between tap water and packaged bottled water? If not, it certainly is the right time to take note. Turns out, the risk of getting cavities is higher if you drink packaged drinking water and for an obvious reason — lack of fluoride.

Chances of tooth decay have escalated in recent years due to changing lifestyles, consumption of junk food, and an unusual culprit — packaged bottled water.

tooth decay
You must understand the effects of packaged drinking water on your oral health. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
What lies in packaged drinking water?

As more consumers sip on packaged drinking water, only a few of them ingest enough fluoride to prevent cavities. The concentration of fluoride in drinking water should be approximately 1.2 ppm/litre to prevent dental caries. Packaged water bottles only have 0.11 ppm/litre. Studies further suggest that less than 10% of packaged bottled water contain more than 0.3 ppm fluoride per litre.

Lack of fluoride in packaged drinking water opens the floodgates for cavities to attack our teeth. If packaged bottled water is the main source of your drinking water, chances are that you could be missing out on the decay-preventive benefits of fluoride.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to drink tap water either. After all, many still debate whether fluoride in tap water actually does help, or if it breaks down tooth enamel and harms teeth.

tooth decay
Be aware of what you’ll find in a bottle of packaged water to keep your teeth healthy. Image courtesy: Pexels

Here are a few ways fluoride in regular and approved quantities works to prevent and reduce cavities:

Increases strength: Being a strong mineral, fluoride adds a layer to enamel and strengthens it.
Inhibits bacteria: Fluoride can act as a bacteria inhibitor and reduces the acid tolerance of bacteria, thus safeguarding the teeth.
Remineralization of enamel decay: To prevent dental caries, fluoride promotes remineralization, i.e., restrengthening, of the tooth enamel.

The lack of fluoride – a healthy ion that is good for tooth enamel, can also develop hypo-fluorosis, a condition that can leave white spots on your teeth.

A good way to get fluoride into the body is through supplements — especially for children consuming packaged bottled water. However, it should be under an expert’s supervision.

The bottom line

Detecting your oral problems early is the key. With the awareness on the rise, healthcare companies are trying to bridge the gap between perfect oral health and its access, by offering specialised plans that are high on quality and easy on the pocket.

Furthermore, with their video consultation option, you can consult the best dentists from the comfort of your home and take a positive step towards improving your oral hygiene today.

Dr. Mohendar Narula Dr. Mohendar Narula

Dr. Mohendar Narula is the Founder of MyDentalPlan.