Most U.S. kids don’t get dental sealants: CDC

Most U.S. kids don’t get dental sealants: CDC

Dental sealants provide a quick and easy way to prevent cavities but more than 50 per cent of American kids don’t get sealants, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) pointed out in its latest report.

According to CDC, dental sealants can effectively prevent 80 per cent of cavities but only 60 per cent of children who need sealants get them.

Noting that kids with untreated cavities suffer difficulty in eating, speaking and learning; the federal agency suggested that elementary schools can help tackle the issue by bringing in dental professionals to put sealants on students’ molars.

CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said in a statement, “Dental sealants can be an effective and inexpensive way to prevent cavities, yet only one in three low-income children currently receive them. School-based sealant programs are an effective way to get sealants to children.”

Available stats suggest that nearly 20 per cent of children have untreated dental decay by the age of 19. Despite being endorsed by the American Dental Association and CDC, only 43 per cent of 6-11-year-old kids have a dental sealant.

The federal agency also estimated that providing dental sealants in school-based programs to the roughly seven million low-income kids who do not have them could save up to $300 million in dental treatment costs. However, the official also acknowledged that many states will struggle to pay for such programs.



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