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Bottled Water, Fluoride Intake, and Risk of Decay in Young Children

October 23, 2007

Americans love their bottled water.  In 2004, Americans consumed an estimated 26 billion liters of store-bought water, equaling one eight-ounce glass per American each day.  Because bottled water tends to be low in fluoride and more Americans now drink less from fluoridated public sources, dentists have wondered whether some kids today might be at greater risk of tooth decay.  In the Summer issue of the Journal of Public Health Dentistry, NIDCR grantees take a look at this issue using secondary data from the Iowa Fluoride Study, which evaluated fluoride intake dental fluorosis, and bone development in young children.  The researchers determined that children who frequently drank bottled water did have significantly lower fluoride intakes than those who did not.  However, they found that less than 10 percent of their cohort of 413 children frequently drank bottled water, and "no conclusive evidence of an association with increased caries" was found by age nine.  The researchers encouraged further research, particularly because their study was not designed to look specifically at this issue.  To read more about this article, please visit  PubMed (The authors are Barbara Broffitt, MS; Steven M. Levy, DDS, MPH; John J. Warren, DDS, MS; Joseph E. Cavanaugh, PhD.  The title of the article is, "An Investigation of Bottled Water Use and Caries in the Mixed Dentition.")     

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This page last updated: February 26, 2014