Local Elementary Students Get Free Dental Treatment

Eight area elementary school students have healthier teeth thanks to the students, faculty, and assisting dentists with Columbus Technical College’s dental hygiene program. Several 2nd and 3rd graders from Fox Elementary School on 38th Street in Columbus were given a free assessment last week by dental hygiene students and on Thursday, they came to the dental hygiene lab at the college for teeth sealants.

Sealants are thin plastic coatings applied to the tiny grooves on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. This is where most tooth decay in children and teens occurs. Sealants protect the chewing surfaces from decay by keeping germs and pieces of food out.

“The sealant is similar to a top coat of nail polish,” explained dental hygiene instructor Teresa Norris. “After a good cleaning, it protects the teeth; a good sealant can last about ten years.”

Columbus Technical College dental hygiene students apply dental sealants for a Fox Elementary student.

Columbus Technical College dental hygiene students apply dental sealants for a Fox Elementary student.

The school-based dental sealant delivery programs originated through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the CDC website: “Sealants are provided to children unlikely to receive them otherwise. School-based sealant programs are especially important for reaching children from low-income families who are less likely to receive private dental care. Programs generally target schools by using the percentage of children eligible for federal free or reduced-cost lunch programs.”

The state of Georgia supplied all the materials for the dental sealing for the students from Fox Elementary and across the state.

For more information on the dental sealant program, visit http://www.cdc.gov/OralHealth/dental_sealant_program/.