West Virginia Being Graded On Preventing Tooth Decay In Kids

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A non-profit group hands out grades to all the states for their efforts on preventing tooth decay in kids.

The mountain state is just average.

The Pew Center from Washington, D.C gave West Virginia a "C".

Each state was graded on improving access to dental sealants for low-income kids.

West Virginia is one of 40 states and the District of Columbia that didn't reach the disease prevention goal set by federal health officials.

That is because the state doesn't have any full time state programs in place.

Dental sealants are a thin plastic coating that's put on a child's back teeth.

It seals the grooves in the back teeth so germs can't get in and cause a cavity.

"In the past, our efforts have been focused on education in the schools. So, a lot of the existing programs in schools have been educational and not actual preventive treatment," says Mary Beth Shea of the Mid Ohio Valley Health Department.

Experts say schools are becoming an easier access for kids to get tooth decay.

Officials are trying to come up with a state wide plan for oral health.

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