Community groups team up to protect pre-schoolers' teeth


25 September 2018

Community groups are pulling together during next month’s school holidays to run four Spring Whānau Fun Days, in an effort to get pre-schoolers along for oral health checks.

Click to enlarge

The fun games and activities will take place at Gonville Health Centre and Library, with a mobile dental van onsite and oral health therapists and dental therapists available to check and treat pre-schoolers’ teeth.

Activities will include tākaro tawhito (traditional Māori games), kids’ zumba, 'Star Wars' Stitch Craft, face painting and rock painting – as well as more events still to be confirmed.

There will also be food available including fruit kebabs and a sausage sizzle – as well as stalls promoting oral health, Water is Best, smoking cessation, Plunket and more.

The fun days have been made possible with the support of the Gonville Health Centre, Gonville Library, Gonville Christian Fellowship, Life to the Max, Whanganui Regional Health Network, Te Oranganui, The Toy Library, Playcentre, Space, Sport Whanganui, Plunket, Stop Smoking and the Gonville Consumer Group.

Dental therapy manager Barbara Dewson says a child’s all of life health can be affected if they do not get good dental care as a pre-schooler.

“Looking after your child’s baby teeth is vitally important for their health and development,” Mrs Dewson says.

“We see too many young children who have such bad tooth decay that they need a general anaesthetic at hospital to remove a rotten tooth or teeth. It’s sad and it’s preventable, so we all need to work together and support parents to look after their children’s teeth.”

On Tuesday 2 October and Wednesday 3 October, and again the following Monday 8 October and Tuesday 9 October, two mobile dental vans will be parked in the Gonville Library car park at 44 Abbot Street Whanganui to see local pre-school children teeth.

Some pre-schoolers in the area will be sent appointments, but all Whanganui families are encouraged to drop in, have some fun and have their children’s teeth checked.

For more information phone 0800 825 583 and keep an eye on the Whanganui DHB Facebook events tab.