Fluoride Action Network

Tooth decay rates higher in Maoris, Pacific Islanders

Source: Press Release: Roy Morgan Research | March 18th, 2013
Location: New Zealand

The latest findings from Roy Morgan Research New Zealand reveal that Maoris, Pacific Islanders and people from the lowest socio-economic quintile have a higher rate of tooth decay than other Kiwis.

If, to paraphrase Don Quixote, every tooth in a person’s mouth is worth more than a diamond, then certain segments of the New Zealand population are in danger of losing their fortune, according to the latest findings from Roy Morgan Research.

In New Zealand, some 23% of Maoris and 19% of Pacific Islanders have tooth decay, a higher rate than the national average (17%). New Zealanders aged between 35 and 49 also have a higher-than-average incidence (21%). Younger Kiwis (aged 24 and under) and people from Asian backgrounds tend to have the healthiest teeth.

Results also reveal that people from the lowest socio-economic quintile (FG) are likelier to have tooth decay than the rest of the population, with those from the highest quintile (AB) least likely.

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (New Zealand), January – December 2012 (n = 11,598).

Tooth decay among different segments of the New Zealand population

Full Details of the Roy Morgan New Zealand Tooth Decay Release

Pip Elliott, General Manager, Roy Morgan Research NZ, says:

“These results come as no surprise: indeed, they reflect findings from the New Zealand Ministry of Health’s 2009 Oral Health Survey.

“There is a worrying trend towards higher rates of tooth decay among less financially secure segments of the population — people who might not be able to afford dental care. This situation is unlikely improve unless the Government adds dentists to the public healthcare system for adults as well as children. (The fact that young New Zealanders have such a low incidence of tooth decay suggests that free dental care is a good way of enticing more people to the dentist.)

“The findings also raise the question of tooth decay incidence in areas of water fluoridation versus those without, but this would need to be investigated further.”

About Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is Australia’s best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually – the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.