FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 9, 2013
Jennifer Miller, DHS, (608)
State Announces School-Based Dental Sealant Awards
Seal-A-Smile Program to reach thousands of Wisconsin
MADISON–State health officials announced today that 38 organizations
will receive nearly $600,000 in school-based sealant program grants for
the upcoming school year to provide dental sealants to low-income
children in 59 counties. The grants were made available through the
Wisconsin Seal-A-Smile program which is collaboratively administered by
the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) Oral Health Program
and Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin.
“Children from families with low incomes are more than twice as
likely to have untreated cavities than children in higher income
families, and dental sealant programs in schools are a cost-effective
way to reach kids at highest risk for developing cavities,” said Dr.
Jeffrey Chaffin, State Dental Officer. “In doing so, we can help these
students focus on learning and succeeding.”
The school-based sealant programs are located in schools where at
least 35% of students are eligible to receive free or reduced-price
meals. They will provide oral health education to an estimated 58,000
children, dental screenings to nearly 44,000, and dental sealants to
more than 30,000, most of whom will receive four or more sealants.
Dental sealants create a physical barrier against bacteria and food.
Along with community water fluoridation, a healthy diet, and brushing
with fluoride toothpaste, sealants play a key role in preventing tooth
decay, Chaffin said.
The program is funded with state dollars matched by Delta Dental of
Wisconsin. Recipients of the school-based sealant program funds for the
2013-14 school year are included in the attached document.
DHS is also one of 21 recipients just awarded a “State Oral Disease
Prevention Programs” grant from the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC), renewable for up to five years.
The funding provides support for developing program leadership,
monitoring oral disease levels and risk factors for oral disease,
developing strong partnerships, educating state residents on ways to
prevent oral diseases, and developing and evaluating prevention
For information on Wisconsin’s Oral Health Program:
# # #
September 11, 2013