CDC Report Highlights Benefits Of Dental Sealants For Children

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The ADA News (10/18, Manchir) reports that dental sealants could prevent 80 percent of cavities in school-age children, although 60 percent of children do not get them, according to a new CDC Vital Signs Report. The report also found that children without dental sealants had three times as many cavities as children who did, and that nearly $300 million in dental treatment costs could be saved by providing dental sealants to “the nearly seven million low-income children who don’t have them.”

CBS News (10/18, Marcus) reports that, in a press conferenceTuesday, CDC officials encouraged parents, healthcare providers, and school administrators to be aware of the benefits and help make sure children have dental sealants. CBS News notes that ADA spokeswoman Dr. Mary Hayes “recommends sealants be used at about age 6 and then again around age 12 when adult molars come in.”

The New York Daily News (10/18, Pesce) reports that CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said in the report, “Many children with untreated cavities will have difficulty eating, speaking, and learning.” Frieden added, “Dental sealants can be an effective and inexpensive way to prevent cavities.”

NBC News (10/18, Fox) reports that although some parents may be concerned about sealants containing BPA, the ADA states, “The potential amount of BPA patients could be exposed to when receiving sealants is minuscule, and it’s less than the amount a person receives from breathing air or handling a receipt.”

A systematic review of the use of sealants and the updated clinical practice guidelines are both available in The Journal of the American Dental Association. The ADA News also reported previously on research published in the ADA Professional Product Review that shows BPA in dental sealants is safe. MouthHealthy.org provides additional information on sealants.

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