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The United States health officials on Friday said that most children from low-income family in America do not get dental treatment like sealants which can prevent most cavities.
Dental sealants are plastic coating in a liquid form which is placed on the surface of the teeth to avoid further damage on cavity-affected teeth. The coating hardens and acts as a protection on the teeth against harmful bacteria.
According to a report from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dental sealants can cut down cavities by almost 80% for at least two years and almost 50% up to four years.
Commenting on the findings by the report, CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden on Tuesday said, “Unfortunately, most kids don’t have them — 40 percent of kids have dental sealants, but 60 percent don’t. Kids without dental sealants have almost three times more cavities that those who do have sealants.”
The report said that children from poor families are more than twice as likely to have untreated tooth decay in comparison to the children from affluent families. Following the findings of the report, the CDC has said that it wants all the schools across the US to offer sealant treatments to students
“School-based sealant programs can be a win-win. Governments, schools, parents and kids all come out ahead. Dental sealants are simple, quick, easy and completely painless, there are no unwanted side effects and the benefits start immediately,” Friden added.
Frieden further said that such dental programs are essential for children coming from low-income families because they are less likely to receive dental care owing to their economic conditions. He also said that sealants could be provided to children at the age of 6 for their first molars to prevent cavities and then subsequently at the age of 12 for their second molars.