You are what you eat and drink! When your stomach growls, you may think of a favorite food to satisfy your hunger. But often the body does not give an obvious signal that it is dehydrated, that it needs more water. Not getting enough water each day can have a negative affect on your overall health.

A missing ingredient?

If bottled water is your primary source of drinking water, you could be missing the decay-preventive benefits of fluoride, a naturally occurring mineral that helps fight tooth decay. Water fluoridation is a community health measure that is widely recognized for its role in preventing tooth decay in children and adults alike. To help prevent tooth decay, water should contain 0.7 to 1.2 parts per million of fluoride.

While the fluoride content of bottled water varies greatly, the vast majority of bottled waters do not contain optimal levels of fluoride. Some contain no fluoride. When water is treated prior to bottling, fluoride may be lost.

What you can do

How can you make sure you and your family — especially children — are getting the right amount of fluoride protection in bottled water? Check the label for fluoride content. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s current regulations do not require bottled water companies to indicate fluoride content on bottled water labels, unless it has been added to the water.

When examining your sources of water, don’t overlook your home water treatment systems. Some home water treatment systems remove the fluoride from water supplies. It’s a good idea to look at the manual for these devices or to contact the manufacturer if you can’t determine their effect on fluoride levels.

The human body is made up mostly of water and depends on water to keep organs and systems functioning properly. Water regulates body temperature, helps remove waste, cushions the joints and transports nutrients and oxygen to billions of cells. Water helps remove toxins and helps dissolve minerals, vitamins and other nutrients. Increasing water intake can sometimes help alleviate a condition called dry mouth (xerostomia). Water also contains an adequate amount of fluoride and helps prevent tooth decay and builds strong teeth.

Health experts generally recommend that we drink eight to ten cups of water a day. So eat healthy, drink lots of water and call us to make an appoint ment for your regular dental visits to keep your overall health in top notch shape.