D3 and its partners provide school-based services for children at 175 elementary and middle schools with 40% or greater eligibility for free and reduced lunch. Services include onsite dental assessments, application of dental sealants, oral hygiene kit, referrals, case management and oral health education.
School-based sealant programs (SBSPs) increase sealant use and reduce cavities. Dental sealants are thin coatings that when painted on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (molars) can prevent cavities (tooth decay) for many years. Sealants protect the chewing surfaces from cavities by covering them with a protective shield that blocks out germs and food. Once applied, sealants protect against 80% of cavities for 2 years and continue to protect against 50% of cavities for up to 4 years. School programs can increase access to services, such as dental sealant placement, especially among vulnerable children less likely to receive private dental care.