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Education

Government Program Provides Tooth Sealants to Low Income Families

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Officials say dental problems cause US students to miss more than 50 million hours of school every year.

A state-run dental program has received renewed funding this year to reach out to low-income families to provide dental care.

One of the goals of the program, called SEAL, is to provide tooth sealants for children

Kathryn Bicknell is a dental hygienist with My Community Dental Centers in Mt. Pleasant.

“Sealants are very important. They reduce decay by 100% almost,” she said. “They cut down on the bacteria and the decay rate. Sealants are wonderful.”

Bicknell said without sealants, a tooth can decay within six months.

The SEAL program will visit 41 counties in Michigan.

Lynn Sutfin is a spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services.

“The point of the program is SEAL! Michigan is to help prevent tooth decay amongst children,” she said. “Obviously helping them with their oral health so they don’t miss school so they don’t miss out on academic growth as well.”

Sutfin said through the program, students get screenings, fluoride applications and referrals to dentists if they need additional dental work.

For more information, please visit:  http://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/0,5885,7-339-73971_4911_4912_6226-279800--,00.html