THERE is a need to improve dental care for children, says dental officer Dr Zia Tuiyasawa.
Dr Tuiyasawa made the comment after visiting a group of children admitted at the Labasa Hospital children's ward yesterday as part of the National Oral Week celebration.
She said tooth decay among children was the result of not eating the right type of food and non-supervision by parents while brushing their teeth.
"The Ministry of Health is emphasising on the "5 for Health and 20 Smiles" initiative so when children reach the age of five, they already have 20 teeth," Dr Tuiyasawa said.
"Parents are mentors and they have to supervise their children while brushing their teeth so it is done in a proper way.
"Children should have a healthy diet that includes fruits and vegetables for the purpose of maintaining healthy and strong teeth," she said.
Dr Tuiyasawa said more students were fond of buying lunch at school instead of taking wholesome meals from home.
"The school lunches often consist of processed snack food, pies of questionable quality and carbonated drinks which contain chemicals and large quantities of sugar.
"None of these are any good for our children's teeth and we are advising parents to play their part and supervise the wellbeing of their children's teeth," she said.