February 17, 2014
Toothbrushes for tamariki
The New Zealand Dental Association, Plunket and Colgate have teamed up to improve the oral health of children in Whanganui and Manawatu.
The region has been identified as having some of the worst oral health in the country, with Maori children the worst off with only one third reaching the age of 5 with no decay in their teeth.
Last year Plunket gave away more than 4000 toothbrushes to Plunket babies at their five-month visit, along with educational material showing parents how to spot signs of decay.
Plunket clinical adviser Allison Jamieson says giving every new Plunket baby their first toothbrush and toothpaste helps parents realise just how important it is to start brushing as soon as those first teeth come through.
Some parents mistakenly thought primary teeth were not important because they are going to fall out anyway, but oral disease and its consequences, such as pain and self-consciousness, can have a profound effect on a person's quality of life.
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