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  • Published Date

    January 13, 2022
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SCHOOL-BASED DENTAL PROGRAM REDUCES CAVITIES BY MORE THAN 50% A school-based cavity prevention program involving nearly 7,000 elementary school students reduced cavities by more than 50 percent, according to a study led by researchers at NYU College of Dentistry. Dental cavities are the most common chronic disease in children, and one in five elementary school children have at least one untreated cavity. While cavities can be prevented with dental visits and good at-home oral hygiene, some families experience barriers to seeing a dentist, including cost and parents having to take time off of work. The study was conducted in 33 public, high-need elementary schools in Massachusetts, where dental hygienists provided care to 6,927 children. The services were provided at no cost to families. Twice-yearly visits involved dental examinations followed by cavity prevention and treatment, including fluoride varnish, sealants, and minimally invasive fillings to stabilize cavities without drilling. Students also received oral hygiene instructions, toothbrushes, and fluoride toothpaste to take home. If more complex care was required, students were referred to local dentists. Notably, the procedures used do not create aerosols, which limits the risk of transmitting viruses through the air. After six visits, the prevalence of untreated cavities decreased by more than 50 percent. In one group of schools, cavities were reduced froma baseline of 39 percent to 18 percent, and in a second group, cavities decreased from 28 percent to 10 percent. The prevention program reduced cavities in both baby and permanent teeth. Presented as a service to the community by Dr. Barbara Webster 1121 Warren Ave., Suite 130, Downers Grove, IL 60515 630-663-0554 SM-CL1945539 SCHOOL-BASED DENTAL PROGRAM REDUCES CAVITIES BY MORE THAN 50% A school-based cavity prevention program involving nearly 7,000 elementary school students reduced cavities by more than 50 percent, according to a study led by researchers at NYU College of Dentistry. Dental cavities are the most common chronic disease in children, and one in five elementary school children have at least one untreated cavity. While cavities can be prevented with dental visits and good at-home oral hygiene, some families experience barriers to seeing a dentist, including cost and parents having to take time off of work. The study was conducted in 33 public, high-need elementary schools in Massachusetts, where dental hygienists provided care to 6,927 children. The services were provided at no cost to families. Twice-yearly visits involved dental examinations followed by cavity prevention and treatment, including fluoride varnish, sealants, and minimally invasive fillings to stabilize cavities without drilling. Students also received oral hygiene instructions, toothbrushes, and fluoride toothpaste to take home. If more complex care was required, students were referred to local dentists. Notably, the procedures used do not create aerosols, which limits the risk of transmitting viruses through the air. After six visits, the prevalence of untreated cavities decreased by more than 50 percent. In one group of schools, cavities were reduced froma baseline of 39 percent to 18 percent, and in a second group, cavities decreased from 28 percent to 10 percent. The prevention program reduced cavities in both baby and permanent teeth. Presented as a service to the community by Dr. Barbara Webster 1121 Warren Ave., Suite 130, Downers Grove, IL 60515 630-663-0554 SM-CL1945539