Water consumption beliefs and practices in a rural Latino community: implications for fluoridation
ABSTRACT Adequate fluoride exposure is especially important for those experiencing disproportionately high prevalence of dental caries, such as rural Latino farm-workers and their children. Water is an important source of fluoride. This qualitative study examined water consumption beliefs and practices among Latino parents of young children in a rural community.
Focus groups and open-ended in-depth interviews explored parents beliefs about tap water, beverage preferences, and knowledge of fluoride. A questionnaire documented socio-demographic characteristics and water consumption practices. Qualitative analysis revealed how water-related beliefs, social and cultural context, and local environment shaped participants' water consumption.
The vast majority of participants (n = 46) avoided drinking unfiltered tap water based on perceptions that it had poor taste, smell, and color, bolstered by a historically justified and collectively transmitted belief that the public water supply is unsafe. Water quality reports are not accessible to many community residents, all of whom use commercially bottled or filtered water for domestic consumption. Most participants had little knowledge of fluoride beyond a general sense it was beneficial. While most participants expressed willingness to drink fluoridated water, many emphatically stated that they would do so only if it tasted, looked, and smelled better and was demonstrated to be safe.
Perceptions about water quality and safety have important implications for adequate fluoride exposure. For vulnerable populations, technical reports of water safety have not only to be believed and trusted but matched or superseded by experience before meaningful change will occur in people's water consumption habits.
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ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to examine differences in tap water consumption and perceptions of bottle versus tap water safety for Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites, as well as associations with other demographic characteristics. Data are from the Santa Clara County, California, Dietary Practices Survey (2011; N = 306). We used logistic regression to examine associations between demographic characteristics and 1) perceptions that bottled water is safer than tap and 2) primarily consuming tap water. Hispanics were less likely than non-Hispanic whites to primarily drink tap water (OR = 0.33; 95% CI, 0.11-0.99), although there was no significant difference in perceptions that bottled water is safer between these groups (OR = 0.50; 95% CI, 0.11-2.27). Hispanics may be an important population for interventions promoting tap water consumption.Preventing chronic disease 06/2014; 11:E98. DOI:10.5888/pcd11.130437 · 1.96 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Bottled water consumption has currently increased and their fluoride (F) concentration may not be ideal in terms of caries benefit or risk of fluorosis. While low concentrations would have little anticaries effect, high F concentration would increase the risk of dental fluorosis. To measure F concentration in bottled waters sold in Chile. Thirty bottles of water were purchased (15 sold as mineral water, six sold as purified water and nine as favored water). Samples were analyzed in duplicate with a previously calibrated ion-specific electrode. Mean F concentration of each product was calculated and expressed as ppm F (mg F/L). A mean (± SD) concentration of 0.39 ± 0.42, 0.02 ± 0.006 and 0.11 ± 0.18 ppm F for mineral, purified and favored waters respectively, was found. Three samples were within the optimal F concentration recommended for drinking water in Chile, which ranges from 0.6 to 1.0 ppm F. Two were above such concentration and the others below. Only two waters displayed F concentration information in the label, which was corroborated by the analysis. Only 10% of the bottled waters commercialized in Chile have potential to prevent caries. The F concentration in most of them does not represent an increased risk of fluorosis.Revista medica de Chile 05/2014; 142(5):623-629. DOI:10.4067/S0034-98872014000500011 · 0.37 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The objectives of this study were to identify dental hygiene themes voiced by adults and teenagers of Mexican origin [or Mexican Americans (MAs)] and place these themes within the larger landscape of oral health and dental care perceptions.Journal of Public Health Dentistry 10/2014; DOI:10.1111/jphd.12076 · 1.64 Impact Factor