March 22, 2023
Dental spend not best return says Reti
National’s health spokesperson Shane Reti says universal dental care won’t be on his party’s wish list.
World Oral Health Day was this Monday, and he acknowledge bad teeth are major problem in the north, where dentists report an alarming percentage of children with decayed and missing teeth.
But he says the answer is teaching good oral hygiene at a young age rather than spending government money.
“If you were weighing up is it cancer treatment, is it emergency department treatment or is it universal dental care, every government has found that’s not generally where the biggest gains can be had but what I do say is that it is in that prevention space where there are gains,” Dr Reti says.
He’s looked at work done in Scotland where supervised teeth brushing in primary school has proved a very effective way to instil good habits.