Young People suffering from Poor Oral Health in New Zealand

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A survey has revealed that standards of oral health amongst young people in New Zealand are very low, despite oral healthcare being available to children free of charge.

A study of Christchurch pupils showed that a third of students at Linwood College, who underwent examinations as part of the Lane Project, needed dental treatment. Project leader, Alan Parris, said that he was shocked by the results of the study, as dental care is free of charge for under 18’s; many of the children required urgent treatment.

Schoolchildren wee not turning up to their appointments even though treatment was free and as a result of this, buses were organised to take students to see the dentist. The college also managed to convince a local dental practice to close to the public for one week so that all the children could be examined and treated.

Patrick Walsh, president of the Secondary Principal’s Association, said that oral health was a serious problem amongst schoolchildren across New Zealand; he said that he had come across children as young as ten years old requiring root canal treatment. According to Walsh, poor oral health has a negative impact on children’s self-confidence and also contributes to problems with concentration and academic performance.



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