Dental Caries (Cavities): School-Based Dental Sealant Delivery Programs
Description of Resource:
The Community Preventive Services Task Force recommends school-based sealant delivery programs to prevent dental caries (tooth decay) among children. This recommendation is based on evidence that shows these programs increase the number of children who receive sealants at school, and that dental sealants result in a large reduction in tooth decay among school-aged children (5 to 16 years of age). Dental (pit and fissure) sealants are clear or opaque plastic resinous materials applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to prevent dental caries (tooth decay). School-based dental sealant delivery programs provide dental sealants to students either onsite at schools (using portable dental equipment) or offsite in dental clinics. These programs often target schools in low socioeconomic status neighborhoods, often identified based on the percentage of children eligible for federal free or reduced-price meal programs. Some programs may target individuals within a school, based on their risk for tooth decay.