The Division of Public Health is seeking dentists to help Delaware’s children in the Seal-A-Smile program.

The Division of Public Health is seeking dentists to help Delaware’s children in the Seal-A-Smile program, which brings the dental office to local schools.

The program travels across the state in the Mobile Dental Clinic, visiting elementary schools to provide preventive dental services to children who do not have dental homes.

During the 2015-16 academic year, the Seal-A-Smile program visited 25 schools statewide and provided oral exams to over 400 children. Seventy-three percent of those children received dental sealants, a thin plastic coating that is applied to molars for cavity protection, and a total of 919 teeth were sealed. However, nearly half of the children who were screened were diagnosed with untreated cavities, and seven percent of the students overall had conditions that required emergency treatment. Some of the children came from lower income families, receive free or reduced lunch and despite the fact that they are Medicaid eligible, do not regularly see a dentist.

CDC research showed that low-income children are 20 percent less likely to have sealants than higher-income children.

DPH is encouraging local dentists to contribute two to three hours of their time per shift, to assist in its mission to promote oral health and disease prevention among Delaware’s children. There is no minimum or maximum limit to the number of times a dentist can volunteer during the school year. With the help of volunteering dentists, DPH is seeking to reach more schools across the state to provide dental services.

For more information, call 744-4554 or visit bit.ly/2fZyvo8.