MEDIA RELEASES

Exercise Wisdom Tooth

The dental health of more than 300 far north residents who hold a community service card is in for a boost thanks to a New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) training exercise known as Exercise Wisdom Tooth.

In partnership with the Northland DHB a team of NZDF dental personnel and other associated health promotion personnel are providing a treatment and health promotion programme from the 12th October until the 25th of October based at Kaitaia Hospital.

Exercise Wisdom Tooth is designed to increase NZDF service capabilities to provide dental treatment and health promotion activity while deployed on military exercises in the Pacific region.  More than 30 NZDF personnel (supported by the Northland DHB oral health team) will be based in Kaitaia over the two week period.

“The NZDF works with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to provide regular aid missions in the Western Pacific Region”, said Major Suzanne Halligan.

“Health related services are provided including dental services and in recent years there has been an increased emphasis on education, training and prevention”.

“The exercise in Northland will assist the NZDF to train for these overseas missions.”

People with a valid community service card have been referred by Work and Income and local GP’s.  

“Good dental health is important and contributes to better general health, raises self-esteem, and is associated with better educational outcomes and improved job prospects”, offered oral health advisor Dr Neil Croucher.

An integral part of the two week exercise is a health promotion road show visiting eight schools in the far north.  Classroom learning about oral health and healthy lifestyles is combined with an Army assault course team relay activity.

"Northland DHB welcomes the opportunity to work with NZDF to increase awareness of the importance of good dental health, nutrition and physical activity especially amongst our young people", said Jeanette Wedding, General Manager Child, Youth, Maternal & Oral Health.

“We want to increase awareness of how important oral health is and improve the number of young people who attend the free community oral health service”.

Northland DHB is establishing a low cost dental treatment service in Kaitaia following Exercise Wisdom Tooth.




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