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Consensus Statement on Sugary Drinks

Sugary drinks are no longer a looming public health crisis, but a very real one. By working together, and acting now, we can prevent not only oral health damage, but obesity - a leading risk factor for diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers.

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Dentists challenge schools to get ‘mouth fit’ this July

Switch to water and get ‘mouth fit’ for Oral Health Month

July marks the launch of Oral Health Month and Colgate and the New Zealand Dental Association (NZDA) are calling on schools to get ‘mouth fit’ by adopting water-only policies in their classrooms.

The ‘Adopt a School’ programme, run by the NZDA and supported by Colgate, gives dentists an opportunity to play a leadership role in their local community by actively promoting water-only policies in schools.

In 2016, 30 schools signed up to the programme and over 10,000 children received Colgate toothbrushes and toothpaste to support better brushing routines.

NZDA CEO Dr David Crum says dentists see first-hand the damage sugar does to children’s teeth.

“Sugary drinks are a leading cause of dental decay. Many dentists want to support families and schools to make healthy changes before the damage is done.

“Currently just over 1 in 10 schools have water-only policies. This year the NZDA and Colgate aim to support another 30 schools to take the plunge,” Dr David Crum says.

Colgate Scientific Affairs Manager, Dr Susan Cartwright says getting ‘mouth fit’ is not hard. “Just be sure to brush twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste, maintain a healthy diet and have regular check-ups with the dentist.”

Levin Dentist Faenza Dunsmore recruited six schools in the Horowhenua area to the Adopt a School programme in 2016. She says the Adopt a School Programme has given her the opportunity to share her knowledge with her community.

“The Adopt a School format has been easy to use and to tailor to each school. Some schools were already considering a water-only policy and for others the journey was just beginning.

“This programme has provided an excellent platform to move from talking into real change. The materials provided by the NZDA and Colgate have been received with gratefulness and excitement.”

Dr Dunsmore is planning to recruit another three schools this year.

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