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Archive for February 2017

bottled water vs tap water

Bottled Water, Your Teeth, and Fluoride

Americans drink an average of 30 gallons of bottled water each year. Water is essential for washing away cavity-causing bacteria and diluting harmful acids that wear away enamel. Water also prevents dry mouth which can increase your risk of tooth decay. Most importantly, water is calorie-free, sugar-free, and can be drunk in abundance without harming your teeth. While water is critical for oral health, bottled water isn’t considered up to par with its supplemented counterpart.

Unsatisfactory Bottling Standards

Bottled water is a popular beverage choice for hydration due to its quality, safety, great taste, and convenience. However, while it’s deemed a food product by the Food and Drug Administration, the standards set by the FDA are not as strict as you would think. Bottled water has been found to harbor several hazardous chemicals including Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical used in the formation of plastic water bottles.

Fluoride in Minuscule Levels

Another major issue with water bottle use is the absence of fluoride. Unlike tap water that contains supplemental fluoride designed to prevent tooth decay by making teeth more resistant to acid attacks, bottled water often lacks suitable levels of this mineral. This lack of fluoride is especially hazardous to children with developing teeth. However, not all bottled water is devoid of fluoride. Fluorinated bottled water is now available to encourage bottle-drinkers to drink enough fluorinated water.

The Presence of Harmful Bacteria

Most people are drawn to bottled water for its “pureness.” However, new studies have shown that bottled water may contain more bacteria than tap water. While bottled water is not expected to be completely free from microorganisms, some brands were found to harbor up to 100 times more bacteria than the permitted limits. Contaminants in water can result in adverse health effects like gastrointestinal illnesses.

Effects on the Environment

Another major concern surrounding bottled water is its negative impact on the environment. As landfills continue to grow to colossal sizes, waste management becomes more of a concern. Americans throwing away billions of plastic water bottles has only exacerbated the problem. The good news is that some brands are doing their part to reduce waste by introducing recyclable or reusable bottles.

Bottled vs. Tap: The Final Verdict

The battle between bottled water and tap water is ongoing. However, when it comes to the health of your teeth, tap water is typically the superior choice. Tap water is cheap, safe, easily accessible, and contains fluoride to prevent tooth decay. It also contains some healthy minerals and may even taste good depending on your location. While the occasional bottle of water is not dangerous, drinking only bottled water could put your dental health at risk.

It’s important to remember that the teeth require fluoride to rinse away food debris, dilute acids, and protect against demineralization which occurs when bacteria in the mouth combines with sugars. It’s also vital to note that fluoridation does not affect the taste, appearance, or smell of drinking water. While bottled water is great when on-the-go, tap water is the ultimate choice for long-term dental health.


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dental emergency

What Classifies as a Dental Emergency?

There is nothing worse than a toothache. While in many cases you can wait until the dentist office opens for business, there are some dental emergencies that you shouldn’t wait to contact your emergency dentist. It’s important that you know what these dental emergencies are so that you can protect your family’s teeth. Whether you are at home or on the road when a dental accident happens, the tips below will help you to know when a dentist is needed and when you can wait until tomorrow.

Knocked-Out Tooth

The first thing you need to remember is in some dental situations you only have about 30 minutes in which to save the tooth. A knocked-out tooth is one of those situations. If you get to the dentist in time and follow the right steps to preserve the tooth, then it’s possible it can be saved. It’s best to pick up the tooth by the top, never the roots, and try to place it back in the socket gently. If the tooth does not stay, then put it in a small cup of milk until you can get to your dentist.

A knocked-out tooth can happen in many situations, such as roughhousing, biting down the wrong way on food, a fall, or many other types of accidents. A chipped tooth can wait until your dentist office opens. However, if the tooth is fractured or cracked, it’s possible that it’s damaged from the inside and you need dental help immediately. Make sure that you wash your mouth out gently and take some Tylenol for the pain until you can get to the dentist.

Tissue Injuries

Any injury to the inside of the mouth, whether it is a puncture wound, tears on your lips, cheeks, gums, or tongue is considered a dental emergency, and you need to contact your dentist right away. If the injury is on your tongue, then it’s important to get to an emergency dental clinic or a hospital for treatment. Remember, to never take aspirin or ibuprofen for the pain because they make the bleeding worse.

Other Emergencies

While these are the most common emergencies, there are a few other dental emergencies to watch out. If your tooth is severely infected or abscessed, it could be fatal and needs to be dealt with as quickly as possible. It’s possible that the dentist can perform a first stage emergency root canal or refer you to a root canal specialist to save the tooth and possibly your life.

Is it a True Dental Emergency?

If you are still wondering what a true dental emergency includes, gauge the severity by the list below.

  • You are bleeding from the mouth
  • The pain is severe
  • Your teeth are loose
  • You have been hit in the mouth or face
  • There are bulges, swelling, or knots on your gums
  • Your mouth or face are swollen

If you are experiencing any of these dental problems, then it’s time to get to your dentist. Some dental problems can wait until the dentist office opens in the morning. These dental issues, however, need to be tended to by an emergency dentist right away.

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