September 2016

A mum of five who doesn't have much time for her teeth has been treated to a dental makeover as part of special programme called The Wahine Toa Project. "I've always had problems with my teeth," 26-year-old Emma Anderson told the Taranaki Daily News.(external link)

On Friday the Rangiatea South Rd dental centre fixed about 14 mums' teeth as part of the free oral health programme. With children to look after, Anderson often puts her health on the back burner but was happy to get her teeth fixed up for free.

"Today I'm getting fillings and getting my gaps looked at."

The project was created after dental therapist Deneille Walden recognised a need in the community.

"We're tired of being the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff," Walden said. "The idea is to educate the importance of oral health and to see dentists before any pain arises."

With the help of Tui Ora, young mothers in need of dental care and treatment are identified and recommended for the one-off project. (external link)

The grant to provide the programme is from the Wrigley Company Foundation NZDA Community Service and provides preventative care and treatment for the relief of pain and infection. The aim of this project is to improve the way this group of young mothers look after their own oral health, but also learn to nurture and maintain the oral health of their children and whānau. 

Mothers are offered two appointments, one that includes education, hygiene and x-rays and a second follow-up appointment for dressings, root treatment, extractions or fillings. 

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