Preschoolers laud success of oral health programme

Esther Halalilo (4, left) and Manusiu Pole (3) take a big toothbrush to one of the Harbour Mouth Molars in Dunedin yesterday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Esther Halalilo (4, left) and Manusiu Pole (3) take a big toothbrush to one of the Harbour Mouth Molars in Dunedin yesterday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.

A group of preschoolers brushed up their teeth-cleaning skills on one of the Harbour Mouth Molars in Dunedin yesterday.

Punavai o le Atamai pupils took to one of the large molars with a giant toothbrush to celebrate the success of the oral health programme at the preschool.

Head teacher Lisa Seuseu said the preschool started the programme last year and its success led to its continuation this year.

''The children love it,'' she said.

Southern District Health Board oral health promotion adviser Robyn Hammond said the programme had led to ''basically 100%'' of the children from the preschool being enrolled in the DHB's community oral health service.

Maori and Pacific children were ''at-risk groups'' in terms of oral health and the work of the preschool had helped alleviate that issue, she said.

Mrs Seuseu said the programme had provided ''huge benefits'' to the children and their families, who had also bought into the concept.

The children brushed their teeth at preschool after lunch and were taught about good oral health habits.

When asked about the programme, preschooler Harry Nai (4) gave two thumbs up.

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