Dental Sealants in Children (Ages 6 to 11)

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

Prevalence of sealants in permanent teeth among children ages 6–11 years, by selected characteristics: United States, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999–2004 and 2011–2016.
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
Male 28.8 40.4
Female 32.4 42.9
Race and Ethnicity
White, non-Hispanic 36.4 43.6
Black, non-Hispanic 21.1 31.7
Mexican American 24.2 44.4
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
Overall 30.5 41.7


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

Last Reviewed
June 2022