November 02, 2014
Army campaign takes on teeth
The teeth of almost 750 people in the far north are in better condition now thanks to a two week exercise by the New Zealand Defence Force.
Operation Wisdom Tooth brought together the Northland District Health board oral health services and defence force dental personnel.
NDHB spokesperson Jeanette Wedding says the service was open to people with a community service card, who were referred by GPs, private dentists, Maori health providers and Kaitaia Community Link.
As well as the work done at Kaitaia hospital, there was an integral part of the exercise which was a health promotion road show visiting eight schools in the region where classroom learning about oral health and healthy lifestyles was combined with an army assault course team relay activity.
Ms Wedding says it was a life-changing moment for many of those patients to be free from pain, and in some cases to smile or talk without being ashamed of their teeth.
The exercise was designed to increase NZDF service capabilities to provide dental treatment and health promotion activity while deployed on military exercises in the Pacific region.
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