As a New Yorker with concerns about the quality of city water, you likely purchase bottled water for your family, have a water filter installed under the sink, and/or use a Brita or Zero Water system. While studies show that NYC’s water is some of the best water in the world, I know that many parents worry about contaminants and, to a degree, worry about fluoride. Hence, the drive to bottled water, particularly for the kids.
But there’s a price to pay: cavities. New York City water contains fluoride, a mineral that’s naturally found in water, although at levels too low to prevent tooth decay. For that reason, most municipalities add fluoride to the water to a level that’s been proven to prevent dental cavities, and NYC is no exception. The city has been adding fluoride to the drinking water since 1964. Conversely, most types of bottled water contain little or no fluoride. This means you’re not only eliminating that valuable mineral’s defense against dental cavities but you’re paying to do so.
I know you are committed to making sure your children brush and floss regularly, and see me every six months. And I know you’d never do anything purposely to promote poor dental health. The American Dental Association, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention all see fluoride as a way to reduce dental cavities. As your child’s pediatric dentist, I’m hoping you’ll reconsider tap water as a viable source of fluoride for your kiddos.
For more details about fluoridated water, check out this Fluoride FAQ page on the Academy of American Pediatrics website.