Today (Friday 7 November) is New Zealand’s inaugural Oral Health Day, coordinated by the NZ Dental Association.
The theme for the day is “Dental Fitness”, which highlights the importance of being dentally fit to maintain physical fitness. Appropriately, this year’s campaign ambassador is professional rugby league player Shaun Johnson, who has an important message for parents, children and young people. He says: “We cannot stay fit without having a good set of teeth…Daily care, healthy diet and regular check ups are important to keep them in perfect condition. Then of course, having a healthy smile adds so much to your appearance!”
Waikato DHB Community Oral Health manager Diane Pevreal strongly supports the key messages of the campaign which are:
- Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
- Floss daily
- Have a healthy diet
- Visit your dentist regularly
- Stop smoking
The Waikato DHB’s mobile dental unit has been decorated up to support the day, and staff at community dental clinics will be distributing information packs.
“Our staff can help with any dental query and remember that care is free for 0-17 year olds,” Diane Pevreal says.
“Dental decay is a big problem for many Waikato families with over 1,000 children each year requiring care under general anaesthetic. First (baby) teeth are very susceptible to severe decay because they have a thinner enamel coating and they have relatively large nerves. It doesn’t take much time for a small cavity to become a large hole.
“A healthy diet, combined with twice daily brushing and regular checks are the best ways to minimise experience of dental decay. Children who have experienced decay in their first teeth are more likely to get decay in their permanent teeth without changes in diet and habits,” she says.
More information and Oral Health Day Facebook promotions can be found here:
NZ Dental Association website:
General media enquiries
Mobile: 021 671 239