What are dental sealants?
Dental sealants prevent 80% of cavities on the back teeth, where nine out of every ten cavities occur. Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings that are applied to the chewing surfaces of the first and second molars where food and bacteria are not easily removed. The sealant acts as a barrier to protect the teeth from plaque and acids, which cause tooth decay. When correctly applied, dental sealants last several years before reapplication is needed.
What is a school dental sealant program?
Only two out of every five Louisiana third graders have dental sealants. School dental sealant programs are an evidence-based best practice for preventing tooth decay among children who are less likely than other students to receive oral health care from dentists in private practice. Louisiana Seals Smiles provides free oral health screenings and dental sealants to eligible students between ages 6 and 14. School dental sealant programs can be school-based or school-linked. School-based programs are conducted completely within the school setting using portable dental equipment. School-linked programs are implemented through schools, but services are implemented in a mobile unit or clinic setting.