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Heads up March 6-12 for water well users and their dentists

March 09, 2016

By Michelle Manchir

How many of your patients get their drinking water from a well? More than 13 million households in the U.S. have their own well, according to the National Groundwater Association.
    
March 6-12, National Groundwater Awareness Week, is a good time for dentists to remind their patients who use private wells as the source of their drinking water to get their wells checked.
    
While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency does not have the authority to regulate private drinking water wells, some state and local governments set rules to protect well users. "Households that use private wells must take special precautions to ensure the safety of their drinking water," according to the EPA.
    
The National Groundwater Association recommends "routine annual maintenance checks to ensure the proper operation of the well and prolong its years of service as well as to monitor water quality."
    
While the EPA does not specifically recommend testing for the level of fluoride in private well water, health professionals should have this information prior to consideration of prescription dietary fluoride supplements or prior to counseling patients about alternative water sources to reduce the risk of fluorosis if the levels are above 2 parts per million, according to the ADA Council on Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations' publication, Fluoridation Facts
    
For more information about groundwater and water well stewardship, visit NGWA.org. For more information about fluoride and fluoride supplements, visit ADA.org/fluoride.