Consumers drink bottled water for various reasons, including as a taste preference or as a convenient means of hydration. Bottled water may not have a sufficient amount of fluoride, which is important for preventing tooth decay and promoting oral health.
Some bottled waters contain fluoride, and some do not. Fluoride can occur naturally in source waters used for bottling or it can be added. This fact sheet answers common questions about bottled water and fluoride.
Bottled water products may contain fluoride, depending on the source of the water. Fluoride can be naturally present in the original source of the water, and many public water systems add fluoride to their water. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sets limits for fluoride in bottled water, based on several factors, including the source of the water. Bottled water products labeled as de-ionized, purified, demineralized, or distilled have been treated in such a way that they contain no or only trace amounts of fluoride, unless they specifically list fluoride as an added ingredient.
The FDA does not require bottled water manufacturers to list the amount of fluoride on the label unless the manufacturer has added fluoride within set limits. Contact the bottled water’s manufacturer to ask about the fluoride content of a particular brand.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates public drinking water (tap water), and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates bottled water products under the authority of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. For more information, please visit the FDA bottled water fact sheet for consumersExternal.
As set forth in 21 CFR 165.110, FDA has established standards for the maximum amount of naturally occurring fluoride or added fluoride allowed in bottled drinking water. These levels are available hereExternal.
If bottled water meets specific standards of identity and quality set forth by FDA, and the provisions of the authorized health claim, manufacturers may include the following health claim: “Drinking fluoridated water may reduce the risk of [dental caries or tooth decay].” For more information, see Health Claim Notification for Fluoridated Water and Reduced Risk of Dental CariesExternal.