New Zealand Dental and Oral Health Therapists’ Association (NZDOHTA) is disappointed that the promises made in Budget 2014 have still not been implemented by the Ministry of Health.

In a Budget 2014 announcement Associate Health Minister Tariana Turia said new funding for the Better Oral Health initiative will support a range of activities that promote better oral health for children and adolescents.

While the NZDOHTA says it is disappointed that the full funding allocation has not gone into oral health projects as promised.

The above campaign has been on television sets in the past and has had some positive feedback but for families who cannot afford basic necessities the educational campaign had to be immediately backed with supply of toothbrushes and fluoridated toothpaste as promised, says Arish Naresh, Chairperson, NZDOHTA.

“Imaginary toothbrushes and imaginary toothpaste will not help in fixing real problems for our whanau. Oral health is largely under resourced through the public sector and when extra funding is allocated; it must be used in a timely manner to deliver positive outcomes for New Zealanders,” says Naresh.

NZDOHTA urges Ministry of Health to roll out the second phase of this project so that every family in areas of high deprivation will get toothbrushes and fluoridated toothpaste supplied to them. Brushing with fluoride toothpaste is the most effective form of prevention when it comes to dental decay and it does not make sense to further delay the roll out.

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