Newborns and toddlers will be MidCentral District Health Board’s focus in promoting Well Child Week’s ‘Oral Health’ theme from 29 February to 5 March.
MDHB’s child and adolescent oral health service receives newborn enrolment forms as soon as a child is born, and then invites newborn children and their families to a free oral health consultation within its first year. There are about 2300 newborns in the MDHB district annually.
Service clinical coordinator Yvonne Murphy said it is important that oral health practices are developed early to prevent dental decay, establish good dental habits, and offer oral health advice.
The free consultations are held by friendly, experienced dental therapists in a one-on-one situation in a comfortable and non-clinical environment, like Plunket rooms or other local settings, but not dental clinics.
During the consultation families will be provided with oral health information to help create confidence with infants for when it comes to later oral healthcare for their newborn children.
When the child is two years or older, they are invited back to a dental clinic setting for a further appointment with a dental therapist to check on the development of the child’s teeth.
About 11,000 pre-schoolers (under fours) are currently enrolled with the service and seen routinely for a preventative appointment, unless considered ‘high risk’, then more often for follow-up visit for clinical appointments.
• The Child and Adolescent Oral Health Service provides free support and dental care for children and adolescents from 0-18 years.
• If anyone has any questions about their children’s teeth they should call the service on 0800 TALK TEETH (0800 825 583), or (06) 350 8619.
Contact: Communications Unit (06) 350-8945