Dental Sealant Program

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Seal Out Decay
dental sealant applied to a tooth

Most tooth decay starts on back teeth because these teeth have many small gaps called "pits" and "fissures" where germs and food can hide. Teeth need protection from tooth decay.

Fluoride in water, toothpaste, and mouth rinse is great for the sides of the teeth, but the tops of teeth have tiny gaps and need special protection. Everyday brushing and flossing help, but toothbrush bristles don't always fit into those tiny pits and fissures, and flossing only cleans the sides of the teeth.

Your children's teeth can be protected with a plastic coating called a dental sealant. With dental sealants, your child may not have tooth decay or need a filling on the sealed tooth surface, and you could have lower dental bills!

A dental sealant is a safe, plastic coating which keeps germs out of the back teeth by covering up their tiny hiding places. Sealants work and are easy to apply. There are no drills or needles involved!

  • A dentist or dental hygienist cleans your child's teeth with a special toothpaste.
  • A special cleansing liquid is gently applied on the teeth and is washed off in a minute.
  • Finally, the sealant is painted on the teeth. It takes about a minute for the sealant to form a protective shield.

You may want your child to get sealants at your family dentist's office. Sealants are also available to some students who qualify at selected low-income schools. A parent or guardian needs to read, complete and sign the consent form, and have the child return the form to the teacher. That's all you have to do.

General Eligibility Requirements - The school-based sealant program has specific requirements:

  • Income: 185% of Federal Poverty Level (FPL); USDA guidelines for school free-lunch program
  • Age: 18 years and younger
  • Disability: Dental caries
  • Citizenship: US/TX resident
  • Qualifying Conditions: Poverty; area program serves

Remember, it's easy, and it's good for your child's dental health. Talk to your child's dentist about sealants or call your child's school to find out if the dental sealant program is offered there.

  • Seal out tooth decay with dental sealants.
  • Use fluoride in drinking water, toothpaste, and mouthrinse.
  • Brush and floss everyday.
  • Eat well balanced meals and healthy snacks.
  • Have regular dental checkups.

Contribution: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta Georgia

Last updated March 10, 2011