Lifting the lip on oral health
teeth small

Our provider group Tāmaki Health will be working to improve oral health in children in 2020. 

Due to COVID-19, about 2000 Auckland children have had to have tooth extractions deferred this year. In many cases, their poor oral health goes hand in hand with poor nutrition and obesity and so Total Healthcare is making oral health a new clinical target across our provider network.

GPs as a gateway
“Widening the clinical focus to include ‘lifting the lip’ in child patient exams is a logical fit since general practice is the gateway for patients to access more services,” Total Healthcare general manager Kate Moodabe says.

“As part of this, we will be looking to cross match patient data with the Auckland Regional Dental Service so we can keep a check on who is enrolled for dental care and who is accessing it.”

Children with severely damaged teeth have trouble eating, sleeping and - as a consequence - learning.

“We want our medical centres to be the fence at the top of the cliff, picking up dental caries before they cause more problems.”

Preventative strategies
Ms Moodabe says that as well as referring children to dental care providers in the region, Total Healthcare will also look at opportunities to co-locate dental providers within medical centres. 

“We have one of Auckland’s highest incidences of child obesity in our PHO region and it makes sense for us to adopt preventative strategies to tackle co-morbidities like poor oral health that are also the result of the wrong food choices.”

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