The Need

The poor oral health of U.S. school children has reached the crisis stage.

Here’s where we stand:

  • Annually, more than 51 million school hours are lost due to poor oral health.
  • The most common childhood disease, tooth decay, is five times more common than asthma.
  • Just 25% of Medicaid-eligible children get any kind of dental care.
  • Nationally, only 20% of practicing dental-care professionals provide care to people with Medicaid.
  • Tooth decay affects three out of every five children.
  • In the U.S., 16 million children lack access to basic dental care. 

School-based dental programs are endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

In late 2016, the CDC published the results of a study about the positive effects of dental sealants on children’s oral health. The CDC also called on states, schools, dental professionals and parents to support school-based dental care as an effective way to get sealants to children.

The full text of the report is available here.