Media Coverage

The Denver Post: More Colorado Kids Need Preventive Dental Care

Colorado, like most states, isn’t doing enough to prevent tooth decay in children, according to a new report from the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Colorado scored a B in the report, which gave 20 states Ds and Fs. The center scored states based on the use of dental sealants, clear plastic coatings that fill in crevices in molars. Sealants prevent decay and cost one-third as much as repairing a cavity.

Researchers say a major improvement would be to increase the number sealant programs in schools in poorer neighborhoods.

Oral Health Colorado, a dental coalition, was recently awarded a grant to give children sealants through a new in-school initiative.

Second-grade is the prime time for sealants, shortly after permanent teeth appear. Molars are the most cavity-prone teeth, and sealants act as a barrier against decay-causing bacteria.

At the same time, Colorado’s Miles For Smiles program is being discontinued. The group has provided dental treatment for kids in rural areas for 14 years with a mobile unit. About 1,000 children per year were receiving free dental care through the program, which is stopping operation because of funding cuts.

Projects:
Children's Dental Policy
Issues:
Sealants, Dental Health
 
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Related Resources

PCS.PRODUCTION.1.20140221.1210 (PEWSUWVMWAPP01)