Dental decay remains the most prevalent chronic (and irreversible) disease in New Zealand, and disparities still exist in oral health in New Zealand. Like many other health factors, children living in areas of higher socio-economic deprivation, have worse oral health problems .
This is a statistic that KidsCan is hoping to improve, with the launch of a new Health for Kids initiative, aimed at improving the dental and general health of children in low decile schools around New Zealand.
CEO of KidsCan, Julie Chapman, said: “We hear so many heart-breaking stories of young children at our schools with rotting teeth, numerous cavities and gum diseases; conditions which could be avoided or reduced if basic dental care habits were followed. There are also lots of cases where there might only be one toothbrush to share, in households that are struggling to make ends meet.
“We are very excited about our new partnership with Lumino The Dentists, which will help us get kids in low decile schools brushing on a regular basis, and educate them about basic dental hygiene”.
KidsCan and Lumino The Dentists will be running two different initiatives in 2013. The first, Lumino Day on 25 May 2013, will see deserving family members of children at KidsCan partner schools offered much needed free dental treatment.
In addition, from Term 2, KidsCan will be offering 8.500 free Lumino Dental Kits to children at partner schools. The individual kits, including toothbrush and toothpaste, will be used at school and are intended to ensure that children are brushing their teeth properly, with a fluoride toothpaste, as least once a day.
“Tooth decay is one condition that can never be reversed. And once you’ve got tooth decay, you will suffer from it for the rest of your life unless the tooth is pulled or filled”, says Kerry Dunphy, marketing manager at Lumino the Dentists.
“Cleaning your teeth properly twice a day with a good toothpaste is one of the simplest things you can do to improve your dental health. Yet less than 50% of our New Zealand children are doing this on a daily basis. We want to improve this statistic.
“Great smiles and improved dental health can make a huge difference to a person’s overall health, confidence and wellbeing. That’s why Lumino Day is aimed at helping the parents and family members of our KidsCan kids; good oral care starts at home and we would ask all parents to encourage their children to brush twice a day”.