Oral health is known to have an impact on:
- physical development
- the ability to chew, speak, and taste
- psychological and social wellbeing, and
- general quality of life.
In 2009, almost 65% of five-year-olds in the Canterbury DHB area
were caries-free, compared to just over 55% of New Zealand children
overall. Māori and Pacific children had significantly higher
rates of tooth decay than other children: only 37.5% and 26.75%
respectively were caries-free in 2009.
All children under the age of 18 in the CDHB area are eligible
for free dental care. In 2009, approximately 67% of
adolescents in Canterbury were using oral health services.
This is slightly above the average of 65.4% for all DHBs but well
below the rate of just over 88% in the South Canterbury DHB
Read the full issue summary for
oral health [PDF] - updated February 2013.