Jan 4, 2019 | ZaidLacy |
Children's Oral Health: Common Dental Problems of NZ Kids Dentec Free dental care is available in New Zealand for children up to 18 years old. Most primary schools in the country have dental practices and many regions have access to mobile clinics. However, despite campaigns and projects to improve the dental conditions of children in NZ, the Ministry of Health states that New Zealand oral health rates are worse than the UK, US and Australia. New Zealand Dental Association spokeswoman Deepa Krishnan says that many parents don't see oral health as a priority. They only take their children to a dentist during emergencies. This results in dental problems in children such as dental caries and gum diseases. Cavities and Tooth Decay According to the World Health Organization, dental caries is still the major oral health problem in countries globally, affecting 60 to 90 per cent of schoolchildren. In New Zealand, thousands of children are sent to hospitals or clinics with decay in their mouths. School dental services state that 44 per cent of 5-year olds have at least one decayed tooth. Tooth decay is a multifactorial disease in which the surface of a tooth breaks down due to acids made by bacteria. Cavities begin to form that develop into tiny openings or holes. It's a major risk in young children who constantly consume sugary or starchy food. Tooth decay is also caused by drinking sugary drinks and failing to brush properly. Gingivitis and Oral Thrush Latest figures from the Ministry of Health's annual survey show that 29,000 children aged under 15 had teeth removed due to decay, infection or gum disease. Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums brought about by insufficient brushing and flossing. It's a sign of excess bacteria that turn into plaque. Symptoms include red and tender gums. If left untreated, gingivitis can develop into more serious gum diseases such as periodontitis. Oral thrush is common among infants and young children because their immune system is not yet fully developed. It's a fungal infection characterised by white plaques on the inside of the mouth and on the tongue. It may spread to the tonsils and the back of the throat. Basic dental services are free for New Zealand citizens until they turn 18. Dental care is important for children so that they will not suffer from poor oral health problems like gum disease, cavities and tooth decay. Sources: https://www.dentecnz.co.nz https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10710408 https://www.who.int/oral_health/disease_burden/global/en/ https://www.health.govt.nz/publication/annual-update-key-results-2015-16-new-zealand-health- survey
Free dental care is available in New Zealand for children up to 18 years old. Most primary schools in the country have dental practices and many regions have access to mobile clinics.