Bottled water has become the most consumed beverage in the United States. The authors
aimed to inform the dental profession about the potential anticaries benefits of some
bottled waters and to provide information about their possible contributions to fluoride,
calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium intakes.
The authors chose a convenience sample by purchasing all different bottled waters
from the main supermarkets operating in Indianapolis, Indiana. The authors analyzed
the fluoride content using a fluoride ion–specific electrode and metal concentrations
using atomic absorption spectroscopy. They used dietary reference intakes to calculate
hypothetical intakes of all minerals.
The authors identified 92 different bottled waters. Fluoride concentrations were generally
low (mean, 0.11 parts per million [ppm]; median, 0.04 ppm). Only 2 waters contained
more than 0.7 ppm fluoride (0.95 ppm and 1.22 ppm). Metal concentrations varied considerably
among waters. Calcium concentrations ranged from less than 0.1 through 360 ppm (mean,
26.9 ppm; median, 5.2 ppm), which were greater than those of magnesium (range, < 0.01-106
ppm; mean, 7.5 ppm; median, 1.9 ppm), sodium (range, < 0.01-109 ppm; mean, 11.1 ppm;
median, 2.9 ppm), and potassium (range, < 0.01-43 ppm; mean, 3.6 ppm; median, 1.2
ppm). Overall, most bottled waters do not contribute to adequate intakes of fluoride,
potassium, or sodium or to recommended dietary allowances for calcium and magnesium.
Nonetheless, some waters can provide meaningful contributions to fluoride, calcium,
and magnesium intake.
The fluoride concentration in 90 of the 92 studied bottled waters is insufficient
to contribute to caries prevention. Only a few bottled waters can be considered health-promoting.
Dental professionals should consider the mineral content of water consumed by their
patients during caries risk assessment.