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Tips for reporting on the state of dental sealant programs in your community

Mary Otto

Professionally applied dental sealants offer effective protection against tooth decay. Moreover, progress has been made over recent decades in getting these useful treatments to kids.

Still, the work is far from done. Overall, fewer than half of American children have received the thin plastic coatings applied to the biting surfaces of newly-erupted molars. Particularly concerning to health officials and oral health advocates is the shortage of sealants among low-income children, who face an elevated risk of disease and suffer from higher rates of untreated decay.

Now that a recent report has renewed the call for communities to bolster their support of school-based sealant programs, this might be a good time to see how your state is doing regarding getting sealants to kids. Is there a school sealant program you can visit in your community? If there isn’t one, why not? This tip sheet offers resources to help you take a closer look.

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