Colgate, Plunket and the NZDA work together to keep New Zealand smiling
28 January 2015, 10:37PM
From the time their first teeth cut through, young children around the country are at risk of early childhood caries; a common oral health disease. This February, Colgate, Plunket and the New Zealand Dental Association (NZDA) are working together again to promote healthy oral hygiene habits throughout New Zealand.
In a bid to combat early childhood caries, also known as tooth decay and cavities, Colgate is continuing to donate a toothbrush and toothpaste to be provided to every new Plunket baby at their five month visit, along with important education on how to brush and care for their teeth. So far over 200,000 toothbrushes and toothpastes have been provided to babies since 2007.
"Many parents aren't aware that early childhood caries can lead to tooth pain and infection, adversely affecting children's eating, growth, and sleeping patterns. We want to help our local communities, and decrease the risk of caries amongst our young Kiwis, by providing parents with the information they need to develop healthy family oral hygiene routines.” says Dr Rebecca Schipper Colgate Scientific Affairs Manager.
According to the New Zealand Oral Health Survey, more than 40% of 2-4 year olds aren’t seen by a dental professional. Plunket nurses see nine out of ten babies across the country and are often the first port of call for many parents - enabling them to provide important health messages and support parents to enrol those children who are not already registered with their local community dental clinic.
Colgate, along with the NZDA and Plunket, endeavours to increase awareness with parents and caregivers of how important it is to establish good oral hygiene habits for their children early on. Communities can support Colgate Plunket Month at their local Countdown supermarket, where Colgate will donate 20 cents to Plunket with the purchase of any two Colgate branded products to promote oral health awareness. At New World stores, customers can receive a free, fun and educational Dora and Diego tooth brushing chart with the purchase of any two Colgate branded products.
Allison Jamieson, Plunket Clinical Advisor said “Plunket’s partnership with Colgate means all Plunket babies get a toothbrush and toothpaste and education at their 5 months visit, which helps start good oral hygiene habits. We are still seeing too many young children with poor oral health so we’re delighted that again this year, Colgate is providing more toothbrushes for families in higher need areas, which Plunket nurses will distribute. It’s a simple and effective way to support the improvement of the oral health of children in New Zealand.”
The partnership between Colgate, Plunket and the NZDA has been working since 2007 to set Kiwi kids on the right path to having a healthy smile.
How to promote good oral health in children:
1. Brushing teeth twice a day – after breakfast and dinner - with a smear of fluoride toothpaste, from the moment teeth appear
2. Enrolling with the free community dental service and having regular check-ups
3. Parents and health professionals ‘lift the lip’ regularly, to check children’s teeth for any signs of decay
4. Children eat healthy foods and snacks that are low in sugar
5. Children drink water and milk rather than sugary drinks