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Colgate and NZDA join forces to encourage Healthy Habits in the fight against tooth decay

On 1 July Colgate-Palmolive and the New Zealand Dental Association launched Oral Health Month with the theme Healthy Habits for Healthy Smiles.

The New Zealand Dental Association states that "good oral health is vital to general health". This can be maintained by keeping a diet rich in nutritional foods, brushing morning and night, flossing daily, and scheduling regular dental check-ups to monitor your oral health - not just when problems occur.

This year, Oral Health Month focuses on everyday New Zealanders, including children. This is emphasised by the launch of ‘Adopt a School', an initiative put forth by the New Zealand Dental Association, which encourages dentists to support a local school to become a water and/or low-fat plain milk only school.

Currently, only 1 in 10 (1) (about 250 out of 2500) (2) schools in New Zealand have a water only policy in place and as a result, our children's oral health may be suffering. In 2015, 29,000 children had teeth removed due to dental caries, abscess or gum disease (3).

"Sugary drinks are a leading cause of dental decay" says Dr. David Crum - CEO, New Zealand Dental Association. Recently, the Ministries of Education and Health joined forces to encourage schools to adopt a water and milk only policy (1).

"While the Association was really glad to see the two Ministries taking leadership on this issue, we encourage our members to make use of this opportunity to help improve the oral health of our children by supporting a local school to become water-only. There are other healthy drink options such as water and low fat plain milk and we hope schools will be more willing to go sugary drink free.

So far 100 NZDA dentists have come forward to support a local school. As a consequence, thousands of school children will enjoy the benefit of better health."    

To encourage and support the New Zealand Dental Association with the Adopt a School Initiative, Colgate has committed to donate a large quantity of toothbrushes and toothpaste, which will be distributed pro-rata to every participating dentist who will then forward them on to their adopted school.

To assist in driving the message of better oral health for all Kiwis, Colgate-Palmolive partnered with More FM and The Edge so everyday New Zealanders would have a chance to star in a locally shot and produced TVC - the first of its kind for Colgate New Zealand. 

"The aim was to create a grass-roots style message that encourages Kiwis to communicate with one another, starting up the conversation surrounding oral health here in New Zealand. Understanding the importance of good oral health is a big part of the solution" said John Garside, Managing Director, Colgate-Palmolive New Zealand.

The TVC is scheduled to air on the 10th July and will run for a two-week flight.

Information for Editors:

Dr. Rebecca Schipper - Scientific Affairs Manager, Colgate New Zealand and Deepa Hughes, Senior Oral Health Educator of the New Zealand Dental Association will be available to interview regarding oral health in New Zealand.


1.     Retrieved from: http://www.education.govt.nz/assets/Documents/School/SchoolsBulletin/2016-Bulletins/Issue46Bulletin.pdf P.1 Message from Peter Hughes to School Leaders.

2.     Retrieved from: http://www.gostudynewzealand.com/find-an-institution/schools-new-zealand/ . Home page.

3.     Ministry of Health. 2015. Annual Update of Key Results 2014/15: New Zealand Health Survey. Wellington: Ministry of Health, p. 63.


Contact Details:

Jaime Parlett

TAG The Agency for Colgate-Palmolive and the New Zealand Dental Association

PH 021 865 388

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