18 December 2018

Tooth-conscious toddlers 'Whakārohia te Māngai, Whakārohia te Hauora' to win oral health challenge 

Tooth-conscious mokopuna have battled it out to be named the Western Bay's best for healthy mouths.

Kōhanga Reo and Puna Reo early childhood centres across the Western Bay were encouraged to take part in the annual Te Wero Oranga-a-Waha Te Reo Māori oral health challenge - organised by the Bay of Plenty District Health Board (BOPDHB) Oral Health Promotion team - and Tauranga's Te Puna Reo o Pukehinahina came out on top.

This year's theme of 'Whakārohia te Māngai, Whakārohia te Hauora' encouraged whānau to make the connection between their oral health and their general health and well-being. The BOPDHB Oral Health Promotion team challenged the Western Bay's Kōhanga Reo and Puna Reo centres to do just that.

Te Puna Reo o Pukehinahina Centre Manager Raelene Kuka said the staff and children were thrilled to have won. "We're a pretty competitive bunch," she laughed. "This not only motivated us to participate in the challenge but more importantly, strengthen our support systems around our tamariki and whānau for healthier lifestyle choices."

Raelene said work they had undertaken with their tamariki emphasised a number of areas including: food for healthy hearts; the importance of teeth-brushing; cutting down on sugary foods; and growing fruit and veges (like strawberries and tomatoes) in the school garden.

Raelene said winning the competition showed Te Puna Reo o Pukehinahina - which has 34 children on its roll, aged from 0-5 - was "on the right track with oranga tamariki".

Prizes included a big box of fruit and vegetables, water bottles, toothbrushes, toothpaste, certificates and laminated activities books.

Oral Health Promoter Zirsha Wharemate congratulated the winners.

"Looking after the teeth of our mokopuna is important, because aside from eating kai, baby teeth are also important for speech development, self-esteem and placement for adult teeth. He mihi nui ki ngā Kaiako, me ngā Kaimahi katoa for the awesome mahi they do to support our mokopuna in our Kōhanga and Puna Reo."

Whakarohia te Mangai

Winners: Children, staff and parents from Tauranga's Te Puna Reo o Pukehinahina.


James Fuller
Communications Advisor - Bay of Plenty District Health Board

Last updated: December 18, 2018