Figures Show Improvement in Oral Health Standards in Waikato
Figures from the Waikato District Health Board show a marked improvement in standards of oral health among 5 year olds in the region.
Statistics showed that 61 percent of five year old children displayed no signs of decay in 2011, compared to 50 percent in 2010 and just 34 percent in 2004.
Data was collected by dental assistants and therapists in the region and involved 5 year olds and 12-13 year olds.
Diane Pevreal, Oral Health Service Manager at Waikato District Health Board, said that she was delighted with the statistics, which showed that the board has achieved the national target for reducing rates of decay in 5 year olds. She added that the figure represents the lowest rates of decay since the health board has been publishing oral health statistics. In the past, Waikato children had lagged behind, with rates of decay higher than the national average, but the figures suggest significant improvements, which is great news for parents and children.
Pevrea said that the improvements were due to better oral health strategies, better oral health education and a greater awareness of the importance of good oral hygiene and healthy eating habits from a very early age. Topical fluoride treatments have also been effective in reducing rates of decay.
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