Dental care and tap water

The best drink for everyone! 

  • plain tap water is the best drink to quench your thirst
  • water is essential for our bodies to function normally
  • our bodies lose water regularly through sweat, urine and breathing
  • most of South Australia’s tap water is fluoridated, which helps protect teeth against decay
  • SA Dental Service recommends that no fluoride tablets or supplements are used
  • if your tap water is not fluoridated, please contact your dental clinic for more advice
  • not all bottled water contains fluoride, but it is still a healthy alternative to soft drinks and fruit juice
  • some tap filters remove fluoride,  contact the manufacturer to ask about your filter

How much water should children drink?

The Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents in Australia (NHMRC, 2003) state that: 

  • plain tap water is best for teeth 
  • children should drink to satisfy their thirst by drinking tap water often throughout the day 
  • children should drink tap water instead of fruit juices, sports drinks, energy drinks and soft drinks 
  • children’s fluid needs depend on their body size, the climate and their physical activity levels 
  • children need to drink an increased amount of tap water before and during exercise 
  • water does not need to be boiled for children aged over six months,  if you are unsure of water quality, boil the water and cool before use

Encourage your children to drink tap water

  • most children lead active lives but often forget to drink, remind children to drink tap water every day
  • send your child to kindergarten or school with a drink bottle filled with tap water, many schools and kindergartens allow children to drink water in the classroom, this is a great way to encourage children to drink water during the day
  • let children see you enjoying tap water
  • have jugs of tap water and cups on hand so children can help themselves, make drinking tap water more fun by adding different shaped ice cubes
  • tea, coffee, sports or ‘energy’ drinks and alcohol should not be given to children
  • limit fruit juice to one small glass each day with a meal
  • remember cordial and soft drinks are to be consumed occasionally - not every day