5000 children under the age of eight have teeth removed under general anaesthetic each year in New Zealand. It is a clearly disturbing statistic.

Lower socio-economic communities are proven to be most at risk, where education about dental hygiene is non-existent or not prioritised and access to cheap fast food and ‘homebrand’ fizzy beverages is easy.

It is common sense that milk or water is preferable by far as a daily source of hydration / nourishment, and tooth brushing from an early age is non-negotiable. Parents and caregivers have a first-line responsibility for the health and well-being of New Zealand children. ‘Treats’ or ‘indulgences’ (like many of those manufactured by our members) should play only a very small role – if any - in a child’s diet. Over-consumption or inappropriate use of sugar-sweetened beverages (like reports of parents feeding babies with SSBs) is both shocking and sad.

Our members are parents too and are appalled that there should be young children in our communities with teeth in such inexcusable condition.

The New Zealand Beverage Council advocates that ALL New Zealand parents and caregivers should have access to the tools and information they need to ensure a healthy diet and hygiene basics for their children.

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