Should schools be the place that happens?
Should sealants be given free to low-income children but paid for by parents with insurance?
Why this topic? I heard a story on the news claiming that a significant amount of money could be saved, that health would be better and that children would learn more. So, I decided to do some digging. The balance of this story is an amalgamation of information from different sources and stories (with links) so you can make your own judgements.
From a story at NBCNews:
Even though they are endorsed by the CDC and the American Dental Association, only 43 percent of 6 to 11-year-old children have a dental sealant, federal surveys show.
“Low-income children were 20 percent less likely to have sealants than higher-income children,” the CDC’s Susan Griffin and colleagues wrote in a report released Tuesday.
“School-age children without sealants have almost three times more cavities than children with sealants,” the CDC added.
“Applying sealants in school-based programs to the nearly 7 million low-income children who don’t have them could save up to $300 million in dental treatment costs.”
One worry that parents may have is about BPA, a chemical found in the sealants that is increasingly linked with health risks. The ADA says the benefits of sealants far outweigh any perceived risk.
“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,” the ADA says.
This is the study from the CDC that is being quoted: https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/dental-sealants/index.html
Here are the highlight:
Federal and State governments, in conjunction with schools, should pursue applying sealants to all school children