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Dental Association Calls For Greater ‘Water Only’ Focus In Schools On National Oral Health Day

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Dental Association calls for greater ‘water only’ focus in schools on National Oral Health Day

The New Zealand Dental Association (NZDA) is calling for greater introduction of ‘water only’ schools this National Oral Health Day (4 November).

NZDA says that with the Ministry of Education’s consultation on healthy drinks in schools being effectively deferred to a report due out by late 2023 there is a need to step up efforts in schools.

“Dentists have a role to encourage their local schools to only provide healthy drinks, these being water, unflavored milk and non-dairy milk alternatives,” said NZDA Sugary Drinks Spokesperson Dr Rob Beaglehole.

Although the numbers of schools voluntarily introducing ‘water only’ policies isn’t large overall, teachers and staff in schools that have made the change have reported a positive impact on learners.”

National Oral Health Day also coincides with the Association’s Switch to Water Challenge – where people give up sugary drinks instead of water for 30 days this November.

“It’s really easy to sign up to Switch to Water, so we urge all Kiwis to give it a go,” concludes Dr Beaglehole.

Each year thousands of people across the country sign up with their whānau, schools, workplaces, or as individuals to take the 30-day switch to water challenge, It is a great way to start new habits and kick old ones.

Further information on signing up to the Switch to Water Challenge is at https://www.nzda.org.nz/public/switch-to-water/register

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