One in eight New Zealand young people (2 – 17 years) had time away from school or ECE last year due to problems with their teeth. For one in nine children, their parent took time off work in the last year due to problems with their child’s teeth or mouth. 
Good oral health means more than just having good teeth and a nice smile, it is critical for good health and well-being. Teeth are important for good nutrition, language development, and self-esteem.
Tooth decay is associated with speech development problems, difficulty sleeping, lost school days, and difficulty learning and concentrating. Most cases of tooth decay are preventable.
Establishing good oral health habits early gives benefits over a child’s whole lifetime. Tooth decay in primary teeth is associated with tooth decay in permanent teeth, which in turn is associated with diabetes and heart disease.
What WAVE can do:
MARCH IS ORAL HEALTH MONTH!
Have you seen the tooth-fairy lady ad on TV?
Check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WoPhxV8yCg
The aim of the campaign is to improve oral health for children under 5. The key message is that baby teeth are important and necessary for the health of permanent teeth, and encourages parents and caregivers to brush their little one's baby teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.