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School based toothbrushing on top of priority list for professional association

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

New Zealand Dental and Oral Health Therapists Association applauds the Prime Minister and the Ministry for embarking on this journey to better the lives of our tamariki/rangatahi.

As the leading provider of oral health services to children and young people, our ten point action plan for the child and youth wellbeing strategy are:

To introduce supervised school based toothbrushing programs that are funded and well resourced so that children are learning good oral hygiene habits regardless of their home environments.

Fluoridate public water supplies

Fund basic dental care for expectant mothers as the oral health of the mother and their bacterial load determines the oral health of the newborn.

Increase training positions for dental and oral health therapists to ensure the Community Oral Health Service is able to provide efficient and effective services to children and young people.

Fund more training positions for special care dentists so that children with challenging behaviour and disablities are support well for their oral health needs. Remove the GST off fresh produce to make healthy food more affordable.

Introduce taxes on unhealthy foods and beverages.

Reduce junk food advertising on mainstream media and social media during children’s prime viewing time. Legislate sponsorships from multinational companies that promote sugar sweetened beverages by sponsoring major NZ sporting teams.

Fund a national roll out of toothbrushes and toothpaste for low income families.

Mandate the ministry of health to look at new oral health strategy as the last one is 10 years old and lacks relevancy in some of its action areas.

"Oral health of children and young people is vital to their overall health and if children are living in pain due to dental conditions, their diet, learning and mental health is affected. We believe that the ten action points we have recommended will go a long way in addressing the oral health component of the child and youth wellbeing strategy" - Arish Naresh, NZDOHTA Chairperson.

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