Dental sealants in children’s teeth have increased from the early 1970s until the latest (2011–2016) National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. In spite of this improvement, disparities remain in some population groups.
Table 1 presents sealant prevalence for children ages 6–11 years and for selected subgroups for the last two cycles of the NHANES oral health examination.
- 41.7% of children 6 to 11 years have dental sealants.
- Younger children, Black children, and those living in families with lower incomes have fewer sealants.
Table 1: Children, Percent with Sealants in Permanent Teeth
|Characteristic||Percent of Children with Dental Sealants
|Percent of Children with Dental Sealants
|6 to 8 years||20.3||32.1|
|9 to 11 years||40.1||50.7|
|Race and Ethnicity|
|Poverty Status (Income compared to Federal Poverty Level)|
|Less than 100%||20.9||37.8|
|100% to 199%||23.4||40.0|
|Greater than 200%||40.1||44.9|
Data Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Oral Health Surveillance Report: Trends in Dental Caries and Sealants, Tooth Retention, and Edentulism, United States, 1999–2004 to 2011–2016. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services; 2019