A study of four American Indian communities has revealed that the active promotion of water over soda leads to significantly lower instances of tooth decay in children.
The study, published in the journal Ethnicity & Disease, showed a reduction in childhood cavities in communities where fresh drinking water was supplied and consumption was encouraged. Additionally, the conductors of the study removed soda from stores and educated families on proper nutrition.
Researchers compared the occurrence of cavities in three such communities with the amount of cavities in children of one group that was not given those advantages.
For early stages of tooth decay, the study reports a 30 percent to 63 percent decrease for children with intervention. The occurrence of more advanced tooth decay was lessened by up to 44 percent in those groups.
Researchers reported that before intervention, it was not uncommon to find soda and other sugary drinks in baby bottles and sippy cups as the beverages were cheap and readily available. They said tribe elders were appreciative of the change back to water, as it more accurately reflects their original cultural values.