Story: Dental care

The state of New Zealanders' teeth

The top table shows the regional health of children's teeth, based on 2015–2016 figures. There was a strong tendency for lower rates of decay in areas with fluoridated water – and some tendency for lower rates of decay in regions with fewer people of low socio-economic status.

The bottom graph compares New Zealand's levels of tooth decay with other countries in the OECD for the latest year available. The criteria used is the average number of decayed, missing or filled teeth of children aged 12. New Zealand is in the top third of the table, but its children's teeth are less healthy than those in Australia, Canada or the United Kingdom.

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How to cite this page:

Andrew Schmidt and Susan Moffat, 'Dental care - Consolidation and challenges: 1950s to 21st century', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 21 June 2024)

Story by Andrew Schmidt and Susan Moffat, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 6 Nov 2018