Drinking a good amount of bottled water is often encouraged by doctors and dieticians alike, since staying hydrated is an important component of being healthy.

But some experts contend it may come with an added risk – compromising your dental health, HealthDay News reported.

Manufacturers of bottled water proclaim their products to be “clean” and “pure,” but not every brand contains a very important ingredient: fluoride.  The compound – made from a combination of fluorine and soil and rock minerals – is voluntarily added to the majority of public water supplies in the U.S. to help reduce dental cavity risk.

However, the choice to add fluoride to bottled water is left up to the manufacturer’s discretion, with most opting out.  Dental experts are concerned that with so many people consuming bottled water – approximately 8.4 billion gallons a year – people will experience more cavities and worse dental hygiene.

And the trend will most likely intensify children, according to Dr. Burton Edelstein, president of the Children’s Dental Health Project in Washington, D.C.  He described the rising rate of tooth decay in children as “alarming.”

Given the behavior of U.S. parents, the trend may continue.  A recent survey published in the journal Pediatric Dentistry found 70 percent of parents give their children bottled water, either in place of or alongside tap water, citing convenience and taste preference.  Fear of tap water contamination was also given as a reason.

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