The SBDPP (School-Based Dental Prevention Program) is a statewide, year round dental prevention program funded by Tennessee and administered by the Department of Health, Oral Health Services. Preventive services ( K-8) include, but are not limited to, screenings, oral health education, oral evaluations, dental sealants, fluoride varnish, and referral for care. Schools with approximately 50% free and reduced lunch populations are targeted for these services but all children in these schools are eligible for the program. Portable dental equipment is used to provide these services in the school setting. At no time does the school based staff bill for any services they provide and all children who were referred (for an immediate need) receive a follow-up call. This setting nurtures a very close working relationship with teachers, school nurses and office staff.
- Tooth decay is the single most common chronic childhood disease.
- 5 times more common than asthma.
- 7 times more common than hay fever.
- More that 1/2 of all children between the ages of 5 & 9 have at least one cavity or filling.
- By the age of 17, the incidence increases 78%.
- More that 51 Million School hours are lost each year due to dental related illness.
- Low income children are half as likely to have visited the dentist in the past 12 months.
- Tooth decay is found in more than 40% of children by the time they reach kindergarten.
Dental sealants are highly effective in the prevention of dental decay. A sealant is a plastic material that is usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth-premolars and molars. This plastic resin bonds into the depressions and grooves (pits and fissures)of the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. The sealant acts as a barrier, protecting enamel from plaque and acids.
Brushing and flossing help remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth, but toothbrush bristles cannot reach down into the grooves and depressions. Sealants protect these vulnerable areas by “sealing out” plaque and food.
School Based Dental Program in the news. Check it out: http://bettertennessee.com/dental-kits-instruction-help-elementary-students-develop-healthy-brushing-habits/