Fluoride could soon be added to most of the country’s drinking water, with the Prime Minister promising to pass a Bill that’s been on hold for nearly four years.
It came alongside another dental promise on Wednesday: giving preschoolers free toothbrushes.
More than 5000 children and teenagers have dental surgery under general anaesthetic yearly for preventable problems. Dental decay is the most common chronic health condition in New Zealand, and much more common for the poor – children in the most deprived neighbourhoods are six times more likely to be missing teeth.
David Wallbridge of Family Teeth Matters says New Zealand is in the middle of a “decay epidemic”.