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Time to check annual water reports

April 20, 2015

By Michelle Manchir

Between now and July 1, water suppliers nationwide are required to send their customers annual Water Quality Reports or Consumer Confidence Reports, giving dental professionals the opportunity to check on the status of their community’s water—and in particular—its fluoride levels.

The reports, which detail quality and content of water, may be mailed to consumers’ homes, often with the water bill, published in local newspapers or posted online.

“It is important that dentists review their community’s annual water report to monitor at what level, if at all, their community water source is fluoridated,” said Dr. Valerie Peckosh, a pediatric dentist in Dubuque, Iowa. Dr. Peckosh is chair of the National Fluoridation Advisory Committee and a member of the ADA Council on Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations.

“Knowing the amount of fluoride in our water source is a critical piece of information when formulating preventive treatment plans for our patients.  In addition, reviewing these reports can be the first alert to a dentist that there have been changes in fluoridation efforts, including decreases to suboptimal levels or cessation of fluoridation efforts altogether.”

Water systems are required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to issue these annual reports. For more information on CCRs, log on to the EPA website or visit the “My Water’s Fluoride” page on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website to check on local water system fluoridation status.

You can also contact the local water supplier or the local, county or state health department for more information about the fluoride content of your water system’s water.

The ADA Council on Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations offers a variety of resources and training opportunities for dentists in communities working to initiate or retain fluoridation. For more details visit ADA.org/fluoride or contact Jane McGinley, CAPIR’s manager of fluoridation and preventive health activities, by emailing mcginleyj@ada.org.