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Take more responsibility for oral health care

Hon Peter Dunne
Associate Minister of Health

Friday, 11 September 2009

Dunne urges New Zealanders to take more responsibility for oral health care

Associate Minister of Health Peter Dunne has urged New Zealanders to take more responsibility for their oral health care.

Speaking to mark World Oral Health Day on 12 September, he said too many New Zealanders took their oral health for granted.

“The importance of oral health for the wellbeing of our communities cannot be overstated,” said Mr Dunne.

“Too many New Zealand communities are still affected by poor oral health, and too often it is children and young people bearing the brunt.

“That is why the Government and Ministry of Health have made a massive investment into child and adolescent oral health services through the brand new community and mobile dental clinics currently being rolled out across the country.”

The Government has committed $116 million in capital expenditure to the new child and adolescent services, an investment supported by operational funding of $40 million per annum from 2011/12.

It is expected that 94 mobile clinics and 121 fixed facilities will be built or upgraded over the next three years as part of this project.

“It is a focus of this Government that we give New Zealanders the best possible start to a lifetime of good oral health, but we must never forget that good oral health starts at home.”

“So I encourage parents to get involved in their child’s oral health needs, make sure they are brushing their teeth, watch what they eat and drink, and remain vigilant for any signs of plaque and decay,” said Mr Dunne.

For further information on how best to access oral health services parents should get in touch with their DHB or visit http://www.moh.govt.nz/oralhealth.

ENDS

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