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Fighting Tooth Decay and Saving Smiles

By Renay Rouse

December 18, 2014

(Martin County, FL) - Hundreds of Martin County students are smiling brighter for the holidays thanks to a school-based dental sealant program. The pilot program, launched in October, has provided close to 500 students, in Martin County Title I schools, with dental sealants.

With parental consent, a dental hygienist with the Florida Department of Health in Martin County works within the schools and provides an oral exam and applies the sealants. The sealants are placed on the chewing surfaces of the teeth and act as a barrier for cavities. The children are also provided with a take home kit with helpful tools for keeping their teeth healthy: including a new tooth brush, dental floss, toothpaste and a countdown timer for effective tooth-brushing.

Good oral health is essential to good overall health. "We are delighted to offer this program to Martin County school children." said Karlette Peck, Health Officer for the Florida Department of Health in Martin County, "This pilot program is providing dental sealants to second, third and fifth grade students who are otherwise may not receive them."

Other keys to good oral health include seeing a dentist regularly, limiting sugar and brushing and flossing teeth at least twice daily.

The pilot program, funded by a state grant, is expected to continue to provide services through May of 2015.