There’s no lack of excuses we use for why we don’t need to go to the dentist. From ‘‘it’s too expensive’’, to ‘‘I don’t like needles’’, or ‘‘I don’t have painful teeth’’, even ‘‘I do have pain, but it’ll go away’’. As a nation we’re well practised at justifying our well overdue checkups.
Sure, nobody enjoys going to the dentist, some might even dread the thought and that’s fair enough. Who wants to have sharp instruments poked and prodded around their mouth and then pay for the experience?
But our excuses aren’t fooling the oral health professionals of this country. The New Zealand Dental Association (NZDA) says poor dental health is a widespread problem nationwide and the stark lack of importance we place on our oral health is disturbing.
Abysmal dental health is a widespread problem in this country, reports
The association’s representatives explain the temporary pain in our mouths and on our wallets is a heck of a lot better than the alternative many of us are putting ourselves at risk of.
According to the National Oral Health Survey nearly half of adults, or 47 per cent, don’t visit the dentist regularly.
Across the Tasman our Aussie counterparts are showing us up. When compared with Australian adults, New Zealand adults had poorer oral health and were less likely to have seen a dental professional in the last year, according to the survey.
Last year alone, 29,000 children aged between 1 to 14-years-old had one or more teeth removed due to decay, pain or abscess.
Approximately 40 per cent of 5-year-olds suffered from decay in one or more teeth. In Maori and