Special Assignment: Bottled water and healthy teeth - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Special Assignment: Bottled water and healthy teeth

Fluoride it's been a tooth's best friend for decades. But, your kids may not be getting nearly enough of it.

Business is booming lately for pediatric dentist Michael Wahl.  He says he's seeing more cavities than ever.

"When I first started practice, I rarely filled a tooth on a teenager. Now, our highest cavity rate is on the teenagers," said Wahl.

Wahl blames the increase of cavities on the fact that many kids are guzzling drinks loaded with sugar.  If kids are drinking sugary drinks and bottled water, they're missing out on a critical ingredient they can get if they drink water from the tap, fluoride.  The Louisville Water Company has been adding it to its system for decades.

"We're so used to drinking our bottled water, or buying concentrates in terms of our juices, our kool-aid.  There are just so many out there that are pre-made. It's easier to do that, rather than mix it with the tap water," said Wahl.

"The secondary teeth start in at about 5 and 1/2 to 6 and go all the way up to 13 or 14.  So, as long as a crown of a primary tooth or permanent tooth is developing, the systemic intake of the fluoride is what really helps to prevent cavities," said Wahl.

One part per million of fluoride is considered ideal.  Fox 41's David Scott wanted to see just how much is in Louisville's water.  Scott collected a sample from a sink at the station.  Then, he attached a PUR brand water filter to the faucet to see if you can have pure water and fluoride, too.

Scott took the samples along with filtered water from his refrigerator at home and a Deer Park bottled water to Beckmar Laboratory in Middletown.

The results show that straight tap water had a fluoride content of .94 parts per million.  That's considered ideal. But the filtered water had virtually no loss of fluoride at .93 parts per million. The water from Scott's refrigerator got a higher reading at .98 parts per million.

The bottle of Deer Park water had virtually no fluoride content.

Put filtered or straight tap water into a bottle, if you're worried about always having to clean bottles, the Louisville Water Company will give you some for free.

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