Why has dental health been getting the brush off?

Most of the members of NOHA were at the Policy Forum in Canberra on Wednesday 15 August: Why has dental health been getting the brush off?

People from around 60 health consumer and provider organisations came together to agree on how best to secure better dental health care in Australia. The catch-cry at the event was ‘A healthy mouth for every Australian’.

Those at the meeting were appalled at the stories told about children and young adults with numerous decayed and missing teeth; encouraged by the commitments made in this year’s Budget; and determined to continue to work together for a much-improved national oral health system.

With governments being fiscally conservative, there will need to be ‘baby steps’ towards what most of those at the meeting saw as the ultimate goal: a universal scheme for oral health for all Australians, funded through insurance.

There was strong agreement on the need for a greater focus on oral health promotion, including through public health measures relating to fluoridation and food and nutrition.

Participants at the Forum agreed to continue their work to build “an irresistible community of interest” for improving oral health in Australia.

Full proceedings here


Stop the Rot!
National Oral Health Alliance calls on all parties to REPAIR oral health through 5 steps.

What can be done to REPAIR oral health in Australia right away? The National Oral Health Alliance has written to all political parties urging them to adopt the REPAIR proposal as a way to improve investment in better oral health and to emphasise prevention while providing a meaningful response to immediate problems. The REPAIR proposal provides the building blocks for meeting the needs of over 30% of Australians who currently indicate that they go without regular dental care due to cost, unavailability of services and other barriers.

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Campaign on oral health launched 29 July 2010 

More than one in three Australians delay or avoid dental treatment because they have indicated that they can’t afford it and more and more people are on waiting lists for dental care.

  • Public dental patients are more likely than other Australians to have dental decay.
  • Nearly half of 6-year-old children have decay in their ‘baby’ teeth.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged between 4-15 years are more likely than other children to experience dental disease.

The National Oral Health Alliance has launched a campaign to seek a commitment from all political parties in the federal election for direct and effective action to improve timely access to the more than 7 million Australians who report that they delay or go without treatment due to cost. 

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About the National Oral Health Alliance

The National Oral Health Alliance (NOHA) represents community, dental and health organisations seeking solutions to the poor access to services and oral health outcomes experienced by many Australians.  We seek commitments from all Parties in this year’s Federal election campaign to undertake clear, direct and effective action to address key priorities in oral health.  An improved oral health system will be part of a more equitable and more effective health system.