FAQ's: Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

What is the Sealants for Smiles Program?

The program enhances access to preventive oral health care of the underserved with sealant application to elementary school children, with qualifying molars, through a school-based dental sealant program. The program is designed to promote effective and innovated models of oral health education for underserved children and parents. Because tooth decay is the most chronic disease of childhood it is critical to raise the awareness of the importance of oral health.

Why is our community in need of this program?

Dental Disease is the most common chronic health problem among elementary school children in Utah. Dental Disease leads to chronic pain, poor nutrition, poor school performance, costly emergency care, and permanent disabilities. 70% of Utah's low-income children have untreated dental decay.

What role does Dental Select play in Sealants for Smiles?

Dental Select provides all administrative services for Sealants for Smiles as an "In-Kind" donation.  This allows 100% of all donations to go toward providing oral health education and dental sealants to low-income and underserved children.

What role does the United Way play in Sealants for Smiles?

United Way of Salt Lake successfully launched the "Sealants for Smiles Initiative" in 2004 providing dental sealants to children attending Title I elementary schools in Salt Lake and Granite School Districts.  The fiscal and program management of the school-based "initiative" was transferred to the 5012(c)(3) public charity, Sealants for Smiles, on July 1, 2007.

What are dental sealants?

Dental Sealants are a plastic material placed on the pits and fissures of the chewing surfaces of teeth where 90 percent of decay occurs in school children. Sealants prevent tooth decay by creating a barrier between the teeth and decay-causing bacteria. Sealants also stop cavities from growing and can prevent the need for expensive fillings. Sealants are 100 percent effective if they are fully retained on the tooth. According to the Surgeon's General's report on oral health, sealants have been shown to reduce decay by over 70 percent.

How can you help?

Educate yourself so that you can help raise awareness of the program within our community. There are various opportunities to volunteer your time and resources for the benefit of the program. For more information please contact us through our website.