Oral health - Baby teeth matter

The 'Baby teeth matter' campaign encourages parents to protect their children’s teeth by ensuring their teeth are brushed twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.

Tooth decay is a serious issue.  Each year thousands of kiwi kids have teeth removed prematurely – often under anaesthetic. In fact, it’s one of the top reasons why children are hospitalised. Along with the pain and discomfort decay causes, if baby teeth aren’t looked after it can affect adult teeth. And it’s very preventable. Along with a good diet, brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste is one key way to prevent tooth decay.

This campaign was developed in partnership with the Ministry of Health, who manage the overall oral health programme.

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Key Messages

Baby teeth are important and necessary for the health of permanent teeth.
Under 5-year-olds need to have their teeth brushed by an adult.
Brush baby teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to protect their future smile.
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The primary audience for this campaign is Māori and Pasifika parents and caregivers of children under 5-years-old, with particular focus on low income households, and young and first-time parents. 

Our tooth fairy character has proven to resonate well with our audience. She’s a relatable, staunch ‘aunty’ who tells it like it is but has our best interests at heart.

Our research with this audience showed that parents and caregivers are motivated by pain avoidance, appearance, and wanting their child to look good and not be teased. They also want to avoid problems they experienced with their own teeth. But with other challenges of parenting and resistance from their toddlers, regular brushing often falls off the list or is delegated prematurely to our little ones.