The bottled water industry produces both fluoridated and non-fluoridated brands to provide consumers with choice, quality, and convenience.

A number of IBWA member companies produce fluoridated bottled water for consumers who want fluoride in their drinking water and wish to choose bottled water.

There are many sources of fluoride, and the amount of fluoride exposure varies greatly by community and individual. Approximately two-thirds of communities in the Unites States fluoridate their public drinking water supplies. Those who live in communities that do not fluoridate public drinking water, who get their drinking water from wells, or who filter their fluoridated tap water do not get fluoride in their drinking water.

Fluoride is present in many foods and beverages and almost all toothpaste contains fluoride. Too much exposure to fluoride can lead to a condition called fluorosis, which results in stains to the teeth. Consumers should, therefore, look at how much fluoride they are receiving as part of an overall diet and should contact their health-care or dental-care provider for their recommendation.

There is no correlation between the consumption of bottled water and an increase in cavities. In fact, bottled water does not contain ingredients that cause cavities, such as sugar. Dr. Jonathan Shenkin, an American Dental Association spokesman and Augusta, Maine-based pediatric dentist, further clarified the issue when stating that, “there has been no research to show using bottled water causes tooth decay.”

Fluoride Regulation

Bottled water is comprehensively regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a packaged food product and a number of regulations and standards already exist that govern bottled water labeling regarding fluoride.

As an FDA regulated packaged food product, bottled water labels must contain the name and place of business of the bottler, packer or distributor, and virtually all bottled water products provide a telephone number. With this information, consumers may contact the bottled water company directly to obtain information about the product. Bottled water companies must follow fluoride labeling requirements should fluoride be added to the product. In addition, the FDA sets limits on the amount of fluoride in bottled water, whether added or naturally occurring (21C.F.R. §165.110(b)(4)(ii)(A-D)).

Looking for Fluoridated Bottled Water?

For consumers who want fluoride in their drinking water and wish to choose bottled water, approximately 20 IBWA member companies make clearly-labeled fluoridated bottled water products under stringent FDA guidelines.

As required by FDA regulations, those brands are labeled as “fluoridated,” “fluoride added,” “fluoride enhanced,” or other language that clearly informs the consumer about the product’s fluoride content.