Dentist Raises Concerns About Dental Health for Pasifika

Pasifika dentist and New Zealand Dental Association (NZDA) member Dr. Tule Fanakava Misa is concerned about the poor rates of oral health for Pasifika people, in particular Pasifika children.

The recently released report Bula Sautu: A window on quality 2021: Pacific health in the year of Covid-19 highlighted wider concerns over Pasifika general health. The NZDA continues to be concerned about the dental health of Pasifika people in New Zealand.

Dr. Misa says figures show only 36 percent of five-year-old Pasifika children being free of caries (tooth decay) compared with 69 percent of non-Māori, non-Pasifika children. “Pasifika dental health concerns should not be forgotten, and these data show just how bad the inequities and inequalities have become.”

We need to do better for all people in New Zealand to enjoy good oral health, and this starts with improving oral health for those in the vulnerable communities. The reduction of sugary drinks and snacks, extension of community water fluoridation delivery, and improved education programmes around brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing.Dr. Tule Fanakava Misa, Pasifika Dentist, NZDA member

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