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Fluoride and bottled water

Bottled water without fluoride could lead to cavities

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced that it will allow bottlers to claim that fluoridated water may reduce the risk of tooth decay. Delta Dental and the American Dental Association support the FDA's decision.

This claim is not intended for use on bottled water marketed for infants, the FDA said. Infants require lesser amounts of fluoride than older children or adults.

Many bottled waters contain fluoride, and by law are labeled as such. About two-thirds of the U.S. population that relies on public water systems drinks fluoridated water from the tap. Many types of toothpaste also include fluoride.

The surge in popularity of bottled water has led to concern that anyone who avoids tap water and drinks exclusively nonfluoridated bottled water (particularly children) faces a greater risk of developing cavities.

Fluoride is a beneficial and cost-effective way to prevent tooth decay in children and adults, according to the American Dental Association.