School-Based Dental Sealants
Dental sealants are the most effective way of preventing caries in permanent molars, where more than 80% of decay occurs in the permanent teeth of children. The deep grooves and fissures of the molars allow decay to occur deep within the tooth structure where fluoride is less effective. Thin plastic coatings that are applied to the tooth surface stop this decay from happening.
Currently, 51 Florida Department of Health County Health Departments provide School-Based Sealant Program services. The Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County is in its 4th year providing these services! In 2016-2017, over 22,500 sealants were provided to Pinellas children in elementary schools.
Dental sealants are cost effective. Every $1 invested in dental sealants applied by County Health Department dental programs yields $1.88 in dental treatment savings. The Public Health Dental Program promotes the early placement of sealants on permanent first and second molars to effectively prevent tooth decay. Additional information regarding School-Based Sealant Programs is available below and by contacting the Public Health Dental Program at http://www.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/community-health/dental-health/index.html.