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Tackling tooth decay through a holistic approach

Clinical Director of Dental at The Fono, Dr Mowafaq Amso talks about how The Fono’s recent water pledge signing enhances the work already carried out by dental team to encourage people to drink water as the first choice and improve the health and wellbeing of Pacific people.

As a dentist and member on The Auckland Dental Association executive, Dr Mowafaq Amso is all too familiar with the number of children, as young as 3 years old, having their teeth taken out because of a high sugar diet, especially from sugary drinks.

More than 6600 children in New Zealand ended up in hospital in 2015-16 to have one or more rotten teeth pulled under general anaesthetic. This is at a substantial cost to the health system of around $4000 per child.

Mowafaq believes that things need to be different in order to prevent the rise of tooth decay in children.

That’s why he and his team have partnered with Auckland University of Technology’s dental department to work alongside social workers to educate families about eating healthier and being active together. The aim of this partnership is to promote health holistically, which is reflective of The Fono’s wrap around services.

“The Fono focuses on health holistically and have number of services to cater for all which is a good fit for the dental service” says Mowafaq.

He has also presented on healthy lifestyles to congregations as part of the Enua Ola programme, “Health messages have to be communicated in a holistic way to not only help families have healthy teeth, but to eat healthy overall”.

With The Fono’s wrap around service offerings and holistic approach to health, Mowafaq says their services, alongside other efforts will help children to have a healthier future.

CEO Tevita Funaki’s signing of the Healthy Families Waitakere water pledge also shows The Fono’s commitment alongside other organisations to support the “we choose water” movement that promotes water as the best drink for children.

More information

For more stories and to see who else has signed the pledge visit Healthy Families Waitake 

CLICK HERE

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