Dentists stepping up to help their local schools become ‘water only’ has received global recognition from the World Dental Federation.

The New Zealand Dental Association (NZDA) won the Federation’s FDI Smile Award for their “Adopt a School” promotion.

The ‘Adopt a School’ initiative, encourages dentists to partner with their schools in the community to promote the benefits of moving away from sugary drinks – particularly avoiding the oral health problems they can cause. The association provides a toolkit to support and guide schools to make the move.

Dr David Crum, the NZDA CEO say the award acknowledges New Zealand dentists are making a difference in their community.

He said to make the move schools are required to ensure staff are committed to the ‘water only’ model, promote healthy drinking habits, and provide accessible drinking water at schools.

“Dentists partner with their local schools, pushing the message that water and low fat plain milk are the best options for dental health.

“Along with school boards and teachers they encourage students not bring sugary drinks to school,” said Dr Crum.

The award winners will be presented at the 2018 World Dental Congress in Buenos Aires.

Past winners of the FDI Smile Award were last year the Argentinian and Slovenian dental Associations and the inaugural prizes were won by the Palestinian and Cambodian dental associations.

The FDI Smile Award comes with a grant of 5000 Swiss Francs (NZ$7164) in recognition of ‘Adopt a School’.

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