Oral Health Facts

Too many children suffer needlessly from dental disease

  • Untreated tooth decay is the #1 unmet health care need in school children – affecting 5 times more
    children than asthma. Over 5 million school hours are lost each year to dental problems. Children with serious oral health problems can have difficulty eating and sleeping, or concentrating in school. These problems can affect a child’s health, growth, confidence and achievement. (1)
  • Dental disease is so widespread and the health effects so significant that the U. S. Surgeon General has classified dental disease as a silent epidemic. (2)
  • The most recent national survey shows that the rate of dental disease among children is
    increasing. (3)
  • Children get used to feeling constant pain. They go to sleep with it. They go to school with it . . . Children live for months with pain that grown ups would find unendurable. The gradual attrition of accepted pain erodes their energy and aspirations. (4)

Tooth Decay is a preventable disease!

The Scientific Evidence Shows that School-Based Sealant Programs Work.

  • Findings by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) clearly show that school dental sealant programs work to stop tooth decay. (5)
  • A study sited by the Journal of Public Health Dentistry shows that a combination of sealants and fluoride can reduce the incidence of tooth decay by up to 87%. (6)
  • Studies show that a significantly larger number of children receive preventive oral health care when the services are provided at the school.


1 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General. 2000
2 Ibid.
3 Ibid
4 Jonathan Kozol, Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools
5 Center for Disease Control and Prevention
6 Journal of Public Health Dentistry Volume 57, issue 3, 09/97

Additional Resources

To enroll your child for health benefits: