The Government of the Northwest Territories released the NWT Oral Health Action Plan 2018/19 – 2020/21 today. The goal of the three year Oral Health Action Plan is to reduce tooth decay, tooth loss and chronic pain in NWT residents, particularly in children and youth.
The Action Plan focuses on prevention, promotion of early identification of oral disease, improving screening and strengthening the role of primary care teams in overall oral health. The Action Plan will also enhance the oral health professional workforce so that improvements can be made in oral health services throughout the NWT, while placing an emphasis on cultural safety.
There are four key action areas in the Action Plan which aim to improve the oral health outcomes in infant, child, youth and prenatal populations:
- Promote oral health with a population health approach.
- Establish systematic supports for improved oral health services.
- Implement the NWT Oral Health Service Delivery Model.
- Provide high quality, sustainable and culturally safe care.
The NWT Oral Health Action Plan supports the Government of the Northwest Territories’ commitment to improve oral health outcomes for children aged 0-5.
“Oral disease is largely preventable and our Action Plan will guide our health care providers to do more to reduce its prevalence throughout the NWT. The NWT Oral Health Action Plan will guide all oral health related activities to help reduce oral health disease in children so that they can enjoy better health and better childhoods free from chronic pain, decay and tooth loss.”
- Glen Abernethy, Minister of Health and Social Services
- Untreated oral disease has been shown to:
- contribute to poor nutrition uptake due to chewing difficulty affecting growth; and
- lead to chronic pain which can affect sleep patterns, concentration and the ability to learn, and contributes to school absenteeism.
- The Oral Health Action Plan will bring oral health prevention services to people in their home communities and decrease the burden of oral disease through the NWT.
Manager of Communications
Department of Health and Social Services
Government of the Northwest Territories
1-867-767-9052 ext. 49034