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Pregnant women lead the focus of dental health in Victoria

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29 July 2016

MEDIA RELEASE
Friday 29 July, 2016

Pregnant women lead the focus of dental health in Victoria

Pregnant woman With research showing a link between gum disease in pregnant women and premature birth with low birth weight, Dental Health Services Victoria is on a mission to extend the care to as many eligible women in Victoria as possible.

Data released by Dental Health Services Victoria show:

  • 34% of the eligible Victorian female population aged 18-44 years access public dental care over a 2-year period.
  • About 2/3 of pregnant women presenting to public dental clinics have untreated decay
  • Pregnant women do not routinely have a preventive program administered by oral health staff.
  • The number of eligible women in public dental health clinics in Victoria is increasing

2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16

Number of Pregnant Women Treated

1,120

1,353

1,541

1,832

DHSV CEO, Dr Deborah Cole, said Victoria’s largest provider of public oral health care was committed to a focus on pregnant women and young children with a strong preventive focus.

“In the lead of the Dental Health Week 2016, it is important to highlight our support for water fluoridation, expanding the health promotion program to all high risk communities and linking pregnant women, via screening and referral programs into our clinicians.”

“Through our Healthy Families, Healthy Smiles initiative, DHSV is engaged with midwives working in antenatal care to build their knowledge, skills and confidence to promote oral health. A survey of midwives conducted by DHSV in 2012 highlighted that oral health was seen as an important issue and a legitimate part of the care however it was not routinely discussed and findings suggested further training would be needed if midwives were to incorporate oral health promotion into their practice.”


For more information/interviews please contact DHSV Media and Community Relations Manager Suzana Talevski on 0407 961 413

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