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  ORAL HEALTH SURVEY SEES IMPROVEMENTS
(26-03-2013)

The report ‘The Health of New Zealand Children 2011/12’ presents key findings about children's health and access to health services in 2011/2012. These statistics come from the New Zealand Health Survey which now shows that most children had a dental visit in the past 12 months;

• About 90% of children aged 5–14 years had visited a dental health care worker in the past 12 months. Children aged 1–4 years were less likely (52%) to have had a dental visit.
• 4% of children have had a tooth removed due to decay, abscess or infection in the past year; this is about 34,000 children.

An oral health survey conducted by Health Star Pacific at this year’s Auckland Secondary School’s Polyfest confirmed that there is improvement with 184 youths participating;

 
"There has been an increase of 0.8% in the number of Pacific children who flossed compared to last year’s results."

Oral Health Service,
Health Star Pacific


• The number of young people who brush once a day has increased by 11.5%. Ideally brushing should be done twice a day, morning and night. Last year 14% stated that they did not brush at all.
• The number of youths brushing twice a day has decreased from 69.3% to 67% but those brushing three times a day have a 2.6% increase.
• There is an increase of 0.8% in the number of Pacific children who flossed compared to last year’s results.

According to Letele Tiseli of Health Star Pacific, “Although the increase is small, we are pleased to see that there is an improvement.”

The majority of the participants were from South Auckland with 10% from the ADHB area. 34% were Samoan, 26% Cook Islanders, 27% Tongan and 13% from other various Pacific nations.

Health Star Pacific is contracted by the Ministry of Health to promote oral hygiene, nutrition and eating to maximise oral health, the use of fluoride toothpaste and utilisation of oral healthcare services to improve and protect the oral health of Pacific children, young people and families.

In the last two years, the Auckland Secondary Schools’ Polyfest, which showcases the diversity of cultures in the great city of Auckland, has been the ideal place for Health Star Pacific to set up a display to promote oral health and engage youth with this survey.

Meryle Kenny, Preschool co-ordinator for the Auckland Regional Dental Services says, “The display was an effective way to get the fizzy and sports drinks message across.”


Photo Caption 1: Anna Bailey and Letele Tiseli promoting oral health at Polyfest 2013.

Photo Caption 2: Anna Liki Fa’alenuu of Health Star Pacific engaging youth with the oral health survey at Polyfest 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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