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Kiwi Teeth Condition Improving

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Kiwi Teeth Condition Improving

Wellington, Dec 16 NZPA - The state of New Zealanders' teeth has improved significantly over the past two decades though costs are still a barrier to dental care, a new survey says.

The 2009 Ministry of Health's oral health survey looked at the habits and dental status of over 4000 people. It is the first study of this scale since 1998.

Dentists were delighted to see that oral health had improved across all age groups since the last survey, New Zealand Dental Association chief executive Dr David Crum said.

"Much of this is due to the continued commitment by dentists and the Government to provide free dental care to the under 18 age group, but it's not all about free care as there has also been a huge reduction in the number of adults losing teeth as well," he said.

The survey also showed 44 percent of adults saw costs as a barrier to dental care.

Dr Crum said that while he agreed there were sectors of the community who genuinely found dental care unaffordable, population wide there was no real cost barrier to care.

"Spending on your health is largely a matter of priority, in the end it's the simple things you do daily at home (diet and tooth-brushing using a fluoride toothpaste) that provide long-term dental health and reduce costs."

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