The first oral health survey in more than 20 years is about to get underway. The Ministry of Health will interview and examine 2,000 adults and 1,000 children across the country between now and November.
The survey will let the Ministry know whether it is succeeding in reducing the levels of tooth decay and tooth loss.
It will also establish who visits the dentist and how much strain might be put on the dental health service in the future.
The last survey was carried out in 1988. The Ministry's chief dental officer, Dr Robin Whyman, hopes to see a marked improvement in oral heath, given the fluoridation of water and toothpaste.