Dental Association says price not the only reason fewer Kiwis getting teeth checked

The New Zealand Dental Association doesn't believe the high cost of going to the dentist is to blame for the low rate of Kiwis getting their teeth checked each year.

Ministry of Health figures show only 47.5 per cent of Kiwis over the age of 15 visited the dentist for the year ending June 2016.

And that figure is consistently dropping.

President of the New Zealand Dental Association Susan Gorrie says she doesn't believe it's the cost of the dentist that is putting people off making an appointment.

Ms Gorrie told TVNZ 1's Breakfast programme this morning that going to the dentist isn't a "high priority" for most New Zealanders.

"They're anxious about going to the dentist so they put it off, or (say) it's not going to happen to them, they're not in any pain at the moment so they'll give it a miss for another year."

Ms Gorrie says Kiwis have a good start in New Zealand with dental care being free from birth until they're 18.

"We should hit 18 with really good teeth, knowing how to look after them.

"Only 80 per cent of those (who are) eligible go. Even when the cost is not a factor, people still don't go."

She acknowledges there is little financial assistance for lower income families who can only access funding from WINZ for emergency work.

The New Zealand Dental Association says they don't think the high cost of going to the dentist is to blame for the low rate of dental appointments. Source: Breakfast



One dead in car smash on State Highway 1 in east Otago

One person has died in a serious crash on State Highway 1 in east Otago. 

Police were called to the scene in Waikouaiti just before midnight. 

Police said the crash involved one vehicle and the driver died in the incident.  

Diversions are in place at State Highway 1 and Victoria Street and State Highway 1 and Gill Street.

The cause of the crash remains unknown. 

No other vehicles were involved in the incident, which occurred at Waikouaiti. Source: 1 NEWS

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City slicker Lisa Kendall a hot chance in rural-dominated Young Farmer of the Year finals

She may be a city girl known as the "Karaka kid", but Lisa Kendall is holding her own against a bunch of country blokes in the finals of New Zealand's Young Farmer of the Year.

With the final round of the competition about to get underway, Lisa says acceptance among her fellow farmers was a little more work for her than some of her rivals.

"I get teased a bit for being an Aucklander in the farming community," Ms Kendall laughs.

The 25-year-old who grew up in Karaka, on the outskirts of Auckland is raising eyes in her rural back block.

She's the only female in the group of six other male finalists.

"It just comes down to once they see you're pretty capable, you're away laughing," she says.

"It's pretty surreal, but it's probably more of an exciting thing for a bunch of the other ladies and young farmers. They're more excited than I am."

Lisa Kendall is thriving as a young farmer, despite an upbringing based in the city. Source: Seven Sharp