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Healthy Kiwis Need Healthy Teeth And Mouths

Healthy New Zealanders Need Healthy Teeth And Mouths

The Health Minister today reminded people of the benefits of a healthy diet, this time to help keep their teeth and mouths healthy.

"We've just had the message that we need to eat a variety of foods that are low in fat, salt and sugar if we are to turn around the new statistics that show half of us are either obese or overweight.

"Eating a variety of foods, low in fat, salt and sugar will also help keep our teeth in shape.

"Good dental care and looking after our teeth and mouths is just as important as looking after our fitness," Mr Creech said today during the launch of Dental Health Week.

"The Government through the Health Funding Authority and the Ministry of Health has been working on a national Oral Health Strategy, with input from the sector.

"It's designed to ensure the oral health of all New Zealand children and teenagers is at the same high standard. That means doing more to lift the oral health of those who currently have poor oral health.

"We are looking at ways to improve people's access to dental care. For instance, we want to see more pre-schoolers, Maori and Pacific Islanders getting dental services. And we want more links between specific well child services and oral health services."

Mr Creech said the Oral Health Strategy would be released shortly for consultation with the sector. Once finalised it would be used to guide the HFA when purchasing services.

Mr Creech today received a dental check in Wellington to promote Dental Health Week.

ENDS

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