Dentists discover tooth decay trend

Volunteer dentiists from New Zealand operate on members of the public on Taveuni. Picture SERAFINA SILAITOGA1

CHILDREN who live in villages and rural areas are believed to have healthier sets of teeth than those who live near shops and supermarkets.

This situation has become factual for a group of dentists working on Taveuni.

The team has noted that easy access to shops where junk food and sweets were sold had affected the dental health of children.

The dentists who are volunteers and Rotarians from New Zealand have provided free dental clinics for about 350 patients on the island over the past week.

Rotary Club of Taveuni president Geoff Amos said the volunteers visited the island every two years.

“It’s quite sad that children who live near shops here on Taveuni are the ones with rotten tooth compared to those kids in villages,” he said.

“Quite a high number of children in primary schools have rotten teeth and most of them are in areas where shops and supermarkets are.

“The children in villages had no problem with their teeth and all were healthy and strong and it’s because of the food they eat at home.”

Mr Amos said most of these children in villages only ate fruits and fresh food from their farms.

“And this has helped them a lot as the villages only have canteen or no shops at all where kids buy junk food,” he said.

“In villages and rural settings it is either parents don’t have the money to buy the junk food from shops or there are no shops in villages.

“We were very impressed with the dental clinics in villages and schools as most of the village children have a small or no problem at all with their teeth.”

The team returns to New Zealand next week and are holding clinics in primary schools as well.

More Stories