Wednesday, February 17, 2016

No Cost Dental Sealant Program Prevents Kid's Cavities

LABELE, FL. -- February is Children’s Dental Health month and the Florida Department of Health joins dental professionals nationwide to promote good oral health for children and families. The Florida Department of Health in Hendry County provides a School-Based Sealant Program which offers preventive dental services at no cost to schools, parents or children. For every $1 Florida invests on dental sealants saves $1.88 in fillings.

“Dental health matters for overall health,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong. “The department is committed to promoting healthy teeth and gums through a variety of services across Florida’s communities.”

Tooth decay is the single most common chronic condition affecting children in the United States and in Florida. Left untreated, dental decay can result in:

• Infection, pain, inadequate tooth function and tooth loss;
• Impaired nutrition and inadequate speech development;
• Costly emergency department visits; or
• Poor school performance.

In 2014, department dental programs provided sealants to nearly 37,000 children. Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings applied to the grooves on the chewing surfaces of molar teeth and are 86 percent effective in preventing tooth decay. The school-based sealant program began treating patients at no cost in January of this year.

“This program will help keep our children healthier so they can focus on learning” said Joe Pepe, Administrator/Health Officer, Florida Department of Health Hendry/Glades.

Dental sealants performed by the department were analyzed for cost effectiveness by comparing the cost of receiving one dental sealant to the cost of one dental filling on an unsealed tooth. The cost savings over three years for 36,955 children receiving one dental sealant is more than $2.3 million.

To learn more contact Megan Shanahan, Dental Hygienist, School Based Dental Sealant Program at the Florida Department of Health in Hendry County (863) 674-4041.

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