What is the Oral Health Florida Sealant Action Team?
The Oral Health Florida Sealant Action Team is comprised of members of the statewide Oral Health Coalition that are interested in implementing or improving school based dental sealant programs across the state. In 2001, a systematic review conducted by the Task Force on Community Preventive Services, a group of independent professional experts, found that school based dental sealant programs are effective in reducing dental caries in children by 65%. Also in 2001, the National Institutes of Health held a Consensus Development Conference which involved evidence-based reviews by experts which concluded that “pit and fissure sealants have been demonstrated to be effective in the primary prevention of caries.” In 2008 the Cochrane Collaboration concluded that “sealing is a recommended procedure to prevent caries of the occlusal surfaces of permanent molars.” The American Dental Association also concluded in 2008 that “placement of resin-based sealants on the permanent molars of children and adolescents is effective for caries reduction.” There is much evidence to suggest that sealants and school based sealant programs, in conjunction with community water fluoridation, are an important and effective public health approach to reduce dental caries in children especially those that are at highest risk for dental cavities. There are currently 92 members which represent a network of County Health Departments, Federally Qualified Health Centers, Volunteer Networks, Dental Schools, Dental Hygiene Schools and individuals. These individuals are all interested in improving the oral health of all children in the State of Florida, especially the most disadvantaged ones.
What does the Sealant Action Team do?
The Oral Health Florida Sealant Action Team conducts bimonthly conference calls with featured guest speakers to discuss issues, updates, and best practices of all Florida School-Based Sealant Programs and national programs. In addition to bimonthly conference calls, the Sealant Action Team provides updated resources and information to improve existing School-Based Sealant Programs and implement additional programs throughout the state and across agencies. This includes technical assistance regarding data collection tools, portable dental equipment, and sealant application. Data collection is complete yearly to show the increase of services and programs across the state and across agencies. The Sealant Action Team also meets face-to-face at the Annual Oral Health Florida Educational Conference.
What actions have been taken recently by the Sealant Action Team?