18 Jan 2020

Bay of Plenty kōhanga reo wins oral health challenge

9:38 pm on 18 January 2020

Te Kiriwera Hana Kōhanga Reo based in Te Teko has won an oral health challenge run by the Eastern Bay of Plenty District Health Board.

Dental medicine and healthcare

Photo: 123RF

Kōhanga reo from across the region were invited to come up with initiatives to promote oral health to tamariki and their whānau.

Te Kiriwera Hana Kōhanga Reo came up with ways to make trips to the dentist fun for children by singing songs and playing games which emphasised the importance of regular brushing.

Kaiako Quintin Kessun said tamariki at the kōhanga came away from the challenge inspired to take care of their oral health.

"We took them on visits to the dentist, trying to make it fun for them, so that it was a pleasant experience and not something to be afraid of.

"We sang songs about cleaning and looking after our teeth; we had big models of a tooth and toothbrush which they really enjoyed. We spoke repeatedly about the benefits and importance of regular brushing, used diagrams showing the difference between healthy teeth and unhealthy teeth, emphasised the five-a-day messaging, drinking water and no fizzy drinks or lollies, and we got the parents involved as much as possible as well, which was really important."

Prizes included a big box of fruit and vegetables, water bottles, toothbrushes, toothpaste, certificates and laminated activities books.

Oral Health Promoter Hatea Ruru extended the DHB's praise to the winners.

"Good oral health is an important part of general health. Take care of your mouth to protect your mouth, body and spiritual well-being. He mihi nui ki ngā whānau o ngā Kohanga Reo for the awesome work they do."

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