Mich. will use grant to expand sealant programs

By the CDHP team

The Michigan Department of Community Health will use a $1.3 million federal grant to expand its SEAL! Michigan program, which deploys dental hygiene students to place dental sealants on children's teeth. School-based sealant programs reduce kids' decay rates by about 60 percent. The Michigan sealant expansion will target Mecosta and Genesee counties.

SEAL! Michigan serves elementary schools with high numbers of low-income students. SEAL! Michigan program also helps to educate children about caring for their teeth. Angela Minicuci of the Department of Community Health told the Capitol News Service: “It’s great — the program allows us to train hygiene students and provide services to children at the same time.”

Dental hygiene schools at Ferris State University and the University of Michigan partner with the Department of Community Health to implement the SEAL! Michigan program. Encouraging children to develop healthy dental habits can pay off down the road by reducing the incidence of tooth decay.

A Pew Charitable Trusts report released in January 2013 found that 35 states and the District of Columbia do not have sealant programs in a majority of high-need schools — those with a high proportion of children most at risk of decay. 


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