Drinking bottled water may not actually be more beneficial than drinking tap water.
The problems stem from the lack of fluoride intake children receive when exclusively drinking bottled water. There are some studies that indicate one out of 10 2-year-olds, 20 percent of 3-year olds, one out of three 4-year-olds and 50 percent of 5-year-olds have some kind of tooth decay.
Also, according to a 2009 Eastern Virginia Medical School study, about 70 percent of parents gave their children bottled water because of fears about tap water. The problem is about two-thirds of those parents had no knowledge about whether or not the bottled water contained fluoride.
The quandary for consumers is that it's extremely difficult to find out how much fluoride is in a product. There are no Food and Drug Administration requirements regarding placing fluoride parts per million on the label of bottled water.
Still, there are no current studies that demonstrate that a greater intake of bottled water will lead to tooth decay. Conversely, there are some studies that show that consuming fluoridated tap water on a regular basis lowers tooth decay risk.
Not surprisingly, earlier this year the International Bottled Water Association said there's no correlation between bottled-water consumption and higher tooth decay risk.
More research is necessary to determine the long-term positive and negative effects of consuming bottled water versus tap water.