Drinking water with fluoride helps prevent tooth decay. However, if your family drinks bottled water, you may be missing out of those benefits. The fluoride mineral helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria and sugar present in the mouth. The fluoride mineral acts very similar to calcium and phosphate and can be redeposited to your tooth’s surface.
Many bottled waters do not contain fluoride. Please read the labels to determine if fluoride is present. Also remember some home water filters or filter systems may be removing fluoride from your tap water.
It is most important for children between the ages of 6 months to 16 years to be exposed to daily fluoride. This is the time the permanent teeth are forming and erupting into the mouth.
If you have a well that tests low in fluoride content or you do use a water filter, your dentist or physician may talk to you about prescription fluoride supplements.
Once a child can spit, it is also important to introduce fluoride topically in the form of toothpaste, mouth rinses and in-office fluoride treatments.