Dental sealants in children’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 children aged 6–11 years and for selected subgroups.
- 30% of children 6 to 11 have dental sealants.
- Younger children, Black and Hispanic 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 youths 6–11 years of age, by selected characteristics:
United States, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999–2004
|Characteristic||Percent of children with dental sealants|
|6 to 8 years||
|9 to 11 years||
|Race and Ethnicity||
|Poverty Status (Income compared to Federal Poverty Level)|
|Less than 100%||
|100% to 199%||
|Greater than 200%||
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 children.