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Dental Sealants in Adolescents (Age 12 to 19)

Dental sealants in adolescent’s teeth have increased from the early 1970s until the latest (1999-2004) National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. In spite of this improvement, significant disparities remain in some population groups.

Table 1 presents sealant prevalence for adolescents aged 12–19 years and for selected subgroups.

Prevalence (Table 1)

  • 38% of adolescents 12 to 19 have dental sealants.
  • Older adolescents, Black and Hispanic adolescents, and those living in families with lower incomes have fewer sealants.

Table 1: Adolescents, Percent with Sealants in Permanent Teeth

Prevalence of sealants in permanent teeth among youths 12–19 years of age, by selected characteristics:
United States , National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999–2004


Characteristic

Percent of adolescents with dental sealants

Age

 

       12 to 15 years

41.04

       16 to 19 years

34.28

 

 

Sex

 

       Male

36.43

       Female

38.93

 

 

Race and Ethnicity

 

     White, non-Hispanic

43.90

       Black, non-Hispanic

25.68

       Mexican American

27.23

 

 

Poverty Status (Income compared to Federal Poverty Level)

 

       Less than 100%

28.76

       100% to 199%

30.64

       Greater than 200%

45.45

 

 

Overall

37.65

 

Data Source: The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) has been an important source of information on oral health and dental care in the United States since the early 1970s.  Tables 1 through 4 present the latest NHANES (collected between 1999 and 2004) data regarding dental sealants in adolescents.

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This page last updated: March 12, 2014