Good oral health will keep Kiwis smiling year round

Press Release – Colgate

Good oral health will keep Kiwis smiling year round Colgate, Plunket and the New Zealand Dental Association thank Kiwis for their support during their February campaign to support good oral health in children, and remind parents of the importance of …Good oral health will keep Kiwis smiling year round

Colgate, Plunket and the New Zealand Dental Association thank Kiwis for their support during their February campaign to support good oral health in children, and remind parents of the importance of maintaining good habits all year round to help prevent dental decay.

February marked a decade of Colgate Plunket Month. The programme, in association with the NZDA, aims to raise awareness of the importance of oral health while also supporting Plunket in the community.

The damaging combination of a diet high in sugary food and drinks and failing to brush twice a day is having a detrimental effect on the teeth of Kiwi kids, says New Zealand Dental Association Senior Oral Health Educator Deepa Krishnan.

According to the 2009 New Zealand Oral Health Survey, dental decay remains the most prevalent chronic, and irreversible, disease in New Zealand and more than 40% of 2-4 year olds are not being seen by a dental professional.

“Unfortunately there is no magic bullet when it comes to keeping kids’ teeth and gums healthy,” says Krishnan. “Instead, the focus needs to be on education and instilling good habits right from the start.”

Colgate, Plunket and the NZDA have been working together since 2007 and Krishnan says the partnership has been an excellent platform for increasing oral health education in New Zealand.

The NZDA has helped with the development of educational tools to show families how dental decay works and how to spot the signs. These resources also demonstrate how to brush correctly and help Plunket nurses to show parents and children what they’re looking for while doing oral health screening.

“We love being part of this initiative. Colgate donates a toothbrush and toothpaste to every new Plunket baby at their five-month check and this helps parents realise just how important it is to start brushing as soon as those first teeth come through.”

As part of Colgate Plunket Month, Colgate donated 20 cents for every two Colgate products purchased at Countdown during the first week of February. Shoppers also received a free, fun and educational Dora and Diego kids tooth brushing chart at New World when they purchased two or more Colgate products between February 8 and 14.

Colgate is delighted to have been working with Plunket since 2007 to promote healthy oral hygiene in New Zealand’s children, says Colgate New Zealand general manager John Garside.

“Colgate’s aim is to work with Plunket to help local communities and decrease the risk of tooth decay and cavities. Over the past decade we have contributed 700,000 toothbrushes and toothpastes to this programme, and in 2016 we are focusing much of our support on high risk areas, where we believe we can make a real difference.”

Colgate, Plunket and the NZDA have worked together to compile a list of five tips for parents and caregivers to help them give their kids teeth the best start.

Five Tips for Teeth

1. Baby teeth are important. They do eventually fall out but until they do, baby teeth play an important role in helping your child bite and chew food, and speak clearly. Baby teeth also save space for the permanent teeth and help guide them into place

2. Clean their teeth in the morning and before going to bed at night. At some point, your child will want to brush his or her own teeth. It is important for children to learn to brush and it’s great to give your child a turn, but afterwards, you should always brush your child’s teeth a second time. Most children won’t be able to brush their teeth well on their own until they are about 8 years old.

3. Check your child’s teeth regularly to detect dental decay. The best way to do this is to lift back the lips to check for chalky white spots or lines on the tooth near the gum line. If you notice this on their teeth take your child to a community dental clinic as soon as possible – dental care is free for children under 18 years.

4. Plunket staff or other well child health providers can tell you how to contact your local community dental clinic and enrol your child. It’s important to commence regular dental check-ups from the moment your child’s first teeth appear. Community dental clinics are a free service and are often located within primary schools. You can also contact 0800 TALK TEETH/0800 825 583 to find your nearest clinic.

5. Frequent consumption of sugary foods and drinks can cause Early Childhood Caries. Avoid eating sugary foods in between meals. If your child eats sweet sticky foods, they are best eaten at mealtimes. Also, encourage your children to drink water during and at the end of their meals to wash out any remnant sugar.

ENDS

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
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