Drinking water and staying hydrated is an essential part of being healthy, but picking up any brand of bottled water to reach your suggested daily intake might not be the smartest move. Many bottled water brands have acidic pH levels and added fluoride, which can be extremely damaging to your teeth.
Augusto Robles, DDS, MS, DMD, and assistant professor at the UAB School of Dentistry, conducted a study to assess the pH levels and fluoride content on various brands of bottled water.
"If the bottled water has a pH lower than 5.5, then it has the ability to dissolve enamel, which is the hard protective outer layer of your teeth and the hardest substance in the human body," Robles says. That pH level varies between brands because of the different processes each company uses to make the water clean enough to drink. The added chemicals and filtration systems used ultimately affect how the water tastes and its final pH level.
Related: Smart ways to drink more water:
10 ways you can drink more water
10 ways you can drink more water
1. Add flavor
Spa water, anyone?
If you're not about that plain water life, simply cut up some fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs and add it to a jug of ice water. Some of our favorite additions include lemon, cucumber, strawberries and basil.
2. Keep a bottle of water near you at all times
Sometimes, you just forget! But if you keep a glass or bottle of water in many places, it'll be a constant reminder to hydrate. We like to keep one in the car, at our desks, on our nightstands and so on.
According to a recent survey, SodaStream drinkers drink 43% more water than consumers who don't own a machine. Forget store-bought bottles and opt for this convenient, eco-friendly and affordable magical machine. We're a big fan.
Drinking? No problem. We're big enthusiasts of this rule. For every drink you have, supplement it with one glass of water. Shots included!
5. Download a water tracking app.
Track your water consumption with your phone. Apps like Hydro Coach and Water Time Pro can offer in-depth statistics on your water drinking habits. Whether you're drinking teas or eating a lot of healthy fruits, these apps take your diet and exercise into account.
6. And with that said, eat your water!
Fruits and vegetables are not only packed with great nutrients, but more water than you probably realize. Here's a breakdown of some of our favorites.
Watermelon: 92% water
Tomatoes: 94% water
Peppers: 94% water
Celery: 96% water
Cucumber: 96% water
7. Invest in a water filter
You might be more inclined to drink water if it's from a crisp, cold pitcher. Especially if you're not a fan of tap water, the Brita helps clean out murky different tastes coming from the faucet!
Now, with that snazzy new water bottle, grab a role of tape and measure out how much water you'll want to have had before a set time! And stick to it.
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The study concluded that four (yes, only four) bottled water brands have a pH and fluoride level safe for your teeth: Fiji, "Just Water", Deer Park Natural Spring Water, and Evamor.
"Both EPA and FDA have deemed those cleaning processes safe for human consumption, but from the dentistry point of view, it can have an impact on the health of teeth," Robles says.
The issue of erosion has increased over the last 20 years, he continues. Even if you make the healthy choice to switch from soda to water, the wrong kinds of water can still have the same damaging affects on your teeth, just at a slower rate. A small amount of fluoride is necessary to make our teeth more resistant to cavities, but it's important to know which brands have too much so you can keep your teeth healthy.