State Programs in Action: Ohio
School-based sealant programs in Ohio began in 1984, with a single demonstration program in one city. By 2000, 34 of Ohio’s 88 counties had programs. These programs target children who are at high risk for tooth decay and least likely to receive dental care.
As the program has expanded, the statewide percentage of 8-year-olds who have dental sealants has increased steadily, from 11% in 1987–1988, to 30% in 1998–1999, and most recently to 43% in 2007. Although this percentage still falls short of the Healthy People 2010 objective of 50% of the state’s 8-year-olds having sealants, children from all demographic groups in schools with sealant programs have achieved or exceeded the objective.
The Ohio program has shown that school-based programs could potentially reduce or eliminate racial and economic disparities by reaching children at high risk for tooth decay.
For more information and references supporting these facts, please visit www.cdc.gov/nccdphp.