25 Oct 2013

Gum maker sponsors Tairawhiti oral health campaign

6:52 am on 25 October 2013

Confectionary firm Wrigley is giving $10,000 to an oral health awareness campaign on the East Coast.

Tairawhiti District Heath Board has won the money, which will pay for a year's worth of radio commercials to encourage families to enrol their children for free dental check-ups.

The Wrigley brand will be included in the adverts.

The team leader of the DHB's oral health services, Arish Naresh, says public-private partnerships are good if they directly benefit the community.

He says the board is aware Wrigley makes products containing sugar, but is comfortable with the connection.

Mr Naresh says health officials have always advocated that sugar is bad, whether it be from chewing gum or any other source.

He says they applied for the grant through the Dental Association.

Mr Naresh says up to 15% of dental appointments are not being kept by the people who need them the most.

Tairawhiti District Heath Board says tamariki have some of the highest rates of tooth decay nationally.