Dental hygiene students and faculty from Pennsylvania College of Technology teamed with volunteer dental hygienists and dentists to provide free oral screenings, sealants and education for 67 children as part of the Pennsylvania Dental Hygienists’ Association’s statewide “Sealant Saturday” program on Feb. 2.
This year’s local program, held in Penn College’s dental hygiene clinic, resulted in 337 free dental sealants being placed on the children, ages 7 to 15, during the four-hour community dental health event. The current cost for a dental sealant in central Pennsylvania is approximately $30. All children also received an examination from a licensed dentist.
In addition to sealants and dental exams, all of the children received education on topics such as brushing, flossing, nutrition, dental disease, tobacco use, fluoride and sealants.
The event was staffed by second-year dental hygiene students, dental hygiene faculty, volunteer dental hygienists (including several alumni) and two dentists.
Sealant Saturday is a statewide event that includes support from the North Central Dental Hygienists’ Association and the Pennsylvania Dental Hygienists’ Association.
Dental sealants are thin, plastic coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to seal the pits and grooves on the teeth. The sealant acts as a physical barrier to prevent oral bacteria from collecting and creating the acid environment that allows decay to develop.
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