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Forsyth Scientists Wiping Out Tooth Decay Through School-based Cavities Prevention Program

rogram is also being rolled out in ten additional communities with a goal of reaching 20,000 children by the end of 2007.

When viewed next to the goals set by Healthy People 2010, a national health promotion and disease prevention initiative managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the ForsythKids program has already met and exceeded those goals in a period of 3 years.

Healthy People 2010 Goals
Reduce cavities by 10%
· Reduce untreated decay by 5%
· Increase children with sealants by 23%

Program Evaluation

Data were collected from 1,196 children from grades 1, 2, and 3 attending six Massachusetts schools over a three-year period (2003-2006). A total of 2,247 patient visits were conducted. Complete information on oral health with emphasis on dental caries experience was collected as part of a professional examination. Four treatments were provided, the latter two based on need:

1. Prophylaxis + fluoride varnish application
2. Oral hygiene plus toothbrush and fluoride containing toothpaste
3. Occlusal sealants
4. A simplified and modified filling that requires no drilling

Analysis of collected data showed that a reduction in new decay in primary teeth of 51% was achieved after a single preventative treatment. A second treatment reduced new decay to almost zero. There were also significant reductions in decay for permanent teeth.

These results suggest that on a population basis, decay can be eliminated in primary teeth and greatly reduced in permanent teeth.

Source-Eurekalert
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