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A Community-Based Approach to Improving Oral Health in Virginia

Tooth decay is one of the most common chronic conditions affecting children in the United States. When it’s not treated, tooth decay can cause pain and infections — and may interfere with a child’s ability to eat, talk, learn, and play. One evidence-based strategy for preventing tooth decay in children is the use of dental sealants — thin coatings that are painted onto the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. Studies in children show that sealants can reduce tooth decay in permanent molars by 80% for 2 years after placement, and they keep protecting against 50% of cavities for up to 4 years.

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The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) plays a vital role in keeping the Nation healthy. We accomplish this by setting national health goals and objectives and supporting programs, services, and education activities that improve the health of all Americans.

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