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Dental Sealants Prevent Cavities

Effective protection for children

  Graphic: Dental sealants can prevent cavities when applied to molar teeth

This infographic shows a dental care professional with protective eyewear, mask, gown, and gloves placing a small dental mirror in a child’s mouth to view his teeth. Graphic images of a tooth without sealant, tooth with the sealant applied and the tooth with final sealant are shown:

Dental sealants can prevent cavities when applied to molar teeth.

  • Tooth without sealant
  • Sealant is applied
  • Tooth with final sealant

School-based programs are one way to reach millions of children with sealants to prevent cavities.


  Graphic: School-based sealant programs are effective but underused

This infographic shows a chart with the percentage of children with sealants for the 1999-2004 and 2011-2014 survey years:

School-based sealant programs are effective but underused.

Sealant Use

Disparities are decreasing over time

The number of low-income children with sealants increased by about 70% from 1999-2004 to 2011-2014, and the number of higher-income children with sealants increased by 23%. The increase in sealants among low-income children prevented almost 1 million cavities.*

% of Children with Sealants

Low-Income/High-Income Children

Survey Years

23

low-income

1999-2004

39

higher-income

1999-2004

39

low-income

2011-2014

48

higher-income

2011-2014

SOURCE: NHANES, 1999-2004 and 2011-2014.

*Journal of Public Health Dentistry, 2014: http://bit.ly/2cZXOYh


This infographic shows the percentage of low-income and higher-income children with and without sealants  who get cavities:

Cavities

Disparities still exist

Low-income children without sealants have about 60% more cavities in their 1st permanent molars than higher-income children.

# of 1st Molar Cavities Per 100 Children

Children With/Without Sealants

Low-Income/Higher-Income Children

82

Without sealants

Low-income

52

Without sealants

Higher-income

29

With sealants

Low-income

19

With sealants

Higher-income

SOURCE: NHANES, 1999-2004 and 2011-2014.

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