American Dental Association spokesperson Dr.Jonathan Shenkin said, "There has been no research to show using bottled water causes tooth decay," in a Healthday.com article.
Dr. Burton Edelstein agrees. He is president of the DC-based Children's Dental Health Project and Columbia University dentistry professor who describes the increasing prevalence of tooth decay among young children as "alarming."
Tooth decay rates are soaring despite 67 years of fluoridation, 57 years of fluoridated toothpaste, a glut of fluoridated dental products, and a fluoride-saturated food supply. The Pew Foundation said that “preventable dental conditions were the primary reason for 830,590 ER visits by Americans in 2009—a 16 percent increase from 2006.”
No US child is fluoride-deficient. But up to 60% show signs of fluoride-overdose (discolored teeth), according to the Centers for Disease Control. The U.S. Surgeon General reports that excessive fluoride increases susceptibility to cavities.
To avoid crippling skeletal fluorosis, the Environmental Protection Agency sets 4 parts per million (ppm) or 4 milligrams per quart of water as a “safe” water level.. Many Americans exceed that amount from all sources. The Iowa Fluoride Study's principal investigator, Steven Levy, found that some babies ingest 6 milligrams of fluoride daily. Furthermore, Levy found 90% of 3-month-olds consumed over their recommended fluoride levels.
"There is no specific nutritional requirement for fluoride...,” Levy et al. admit.
Levy also found:
-- 77% of soft drinks had fluoride levels greater than 0.60 ppm
-- two ounces of baby chicken food provides baby's maximum dose
-- foods high in fluoride -- teas, dry infant cereals, dried chicken, and seafood
-- grape juice, especially white, contains very high fluoride levels
-- 42% of juice and juice drinks tested revealed unlabeled fluoride levels greater than 0.60 ppm
-- cereals processed in fluoridated areas contain from 3.8 to 6.3 ppm fluoride
The USDA provides a database of fluoride contents of food http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/Data/Fluoride/Fluoride.html
Reports that bottled-water drinkers risk more cavities are unsubstantiated. The Wall Street Journal reported, "Little research has been done on the use of bottled water and risk of tooth decay," dental experts concede.
"For children's dental health measures,it was found that fluoridation rates were not significantly related to the measures of either caries or overall condition of the teeth for urban or rural areas." (West Virginia University Rural Health Research Center, 2012)
"It may...be that fluoridation ofdrinking water does not have a strong protective effect against early childhood caries (cavities)," reports dentist Howard Pollick, University of California, and colleagues, in the Winter 2003 Journal of Public Health Dentistry.
Even when fluoridated water is the most consumed item, cavities are extensive when diets are poor, according to Caries Research.
Burt and colleagues studied low-income African-American adults, 14-years-old and over, living in fluoridated Detroit, Michigan. Yet, 83% of this population has severe tooth decay and diets high in sugars and fats, and low in fruits and vegetables.
"The most frequently reported food on a daily basis was [fluoridated] tap water," write Burt's research team. Second were [probably fluoridated] soft drinks and third were potato chips (which can contain fluoride-containing pesticide residues).
Tooth decay in fluoridated Detroit's toddlers' teeth is also shocking. Almost all of Detroit's five-year-olds have cavities and most of them go unfilled.
The CDC and the scientific literature now tells us that ingesting fluoride does not reduce tooth decay. So it’s no surprise that drinking fluoride-free bottled water is not linked to higher rates of tooth decay and that people who drink fluoridated tap water are not experiencing less tooth decay.