MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) want states to create school programs that put sealants on children’s teeth saying it will prevent cavities and save money.
Dental cavities are one of the most common chronic conditions among children and teens, according to the CDC report issued Wednesday. They can cause pain, infections, and problems with eating, speaking and learning.
The report showed that while sealants are effective in preventing 80% of cavities in the back teeth – where 9 out of 10 cavities occur – the majority of children don’t have them.
A group under the microscope are low-income families, who the CDC says are at increased risk of cavities. Low-income children-made up of 7 million kids – are 20 percent less likely to have sealants than those with families that have a higher income.
Providing dental sealants through school-based programs to low-income children could save up to $300 million in dental treatment costs, the report states.
The CDC says that’s where state officials play an important role – by increasing children’s access to school-based dental sealant programs.
Some ideas they had were targeting school-based programs in areas of greatest need, implementing policies that deliver the school-based programs or connect schools with health departments and dental professionals.
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