Child and Adolescent Oral Health

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 area.

Read the full issue summary for oral health [PDF] - updated February 2013.