North Shore (09) 486 8900
Waitakere (09) 839 0000


To our community

We would like to update you about the changes to the Children’s Community Dental Service (Auckland Regional Dental Service) in response to COVID-19.


At Covid-19 Alert level 3, the government’s restrictions on people movements and travel are still in place. With this in mind, we are initially providing appointments for dental care for children who have been telephone assessed for recent dental pain; or who have current dental pain or infection; or for selected additional procedures that fit within the dental council framework.


The wellbeing of our community is paramount for us, therefore all parents and caregivers who are attending booked appointments will be asked to wear a face covering/mask and use hand sanitiser on entering the clinic, and these will be provided on arrival.  


If your child is in pain or you have immediate concerns about their teeth, please phone 0800 TALK TEETH to speak with an oral health clinician, or alternatively contact your nearest clinic from one of the following options:

ARDS operating dental care clinic location at Alert Level 3

Contact phone number

Email address

North AKL


09 426 8470


09 479 4236


09 415 2059

Glenfield Intermediate

09 444 6160


09 418 0043

Forrest Hill

09 410 7361

West AKL

Henderson Intermediate

09 838 9751


09 838 2402

Glen Eden Intermediate

09 817 0070

Central AKL


09 376 6327

Blockhouse Bay Intermediate

09 627 0019

May Road

09 620 0134


09 520 0603

Point England

09 570 4309


09 276 6633

East AKL


09 533 5426

South AKL

Buckland Road, Mangere

09 442 7208


09 275 4747

Brown’s Road, Manurewa

09 264 0047

Manurewa Intermediate

09 268 8097


09 278 1975


09 274 7203


09 299 8112

Pukekohe Intermediate

09 237 1070


If you phone outside our normal operating hours of Monday-Friday 8am-4.30pm, please contact your after-hours GP or Healthline on 0800 611 116 or visit


All non-essential appointments are postponed and we will be in touch with parents/ caregivers to reschedule these as circumstances allow. Our vans and Transportable Dental Units are also closed.


The key for keeping good oral health for our tamariki and whanau is to have health oral health habits at home. Please see general oral health message information sheets available under Multi-language resources, and frequently asked questions below.


Thank you for your understanding during this time.


The Children’s Community Dental Service.


FREE Dental Care from birth to 17 years

The Auckland Regional Dental Service (ARDS) operates across the Auckland District Health Board (ADHB), Counties Manukau District Health Board (CMDHB) and the Waitematā District Health Board (Waitematā DHB) catchment areas.  Free dental care is available for children from birth to their 18th Birthday and includes dental examinations and x-rays, preventive treatments and treatment of dental caries, which may include fillings.  Dental treatment is provided by different dental providers depending on a child’s age


Children from birth to school year 8

  • The Children’s Community Dental Service provides free dental services to children from birth to Year 8.
  • We operate from 83 dental facilities across the greater Auckland area.
  • These facilities include a mixture of community-based clinics and mobile dental services.
  • Dental care within the Children’s Community Dental Service is primarily provided by dental therapists and oral health therapists who are qualified professionals specialising in oral health diagnosis, treatment and prevention. 
  • Parents and caregivers are welcome to attend appointments with their child.
  • How often we see your child is based on your child’s clinical need.
  • Our therapists will assess your child’s need and talk to you about it.
  • Please note we do not provide orthodontic care.
  • Please contact us by phoning 0800 TALK TEETH, or find clinics in your area here.


Children from school year 9 to their 18th birthday (Adolescent)

  • Free dental care continues for your child when they move to secondary school (Year 9 onwards), right up until your child turns 18
  • Adolescent dental care is provided by specific dental practices within communities and mobile dental services at high schools and colleges who have a contract with the District Health Board. If a dental provider does not have a contract with the DHB then the service will not be free.
  • To receive free treatment your child is required to enrol with a dentist who holds a contract with the DHB in your area
  • The majority of dental work is free but this does not include orthodontic work or any treatments associated with orthodontics and treatments related to accidents. ACC will normally cover the treatment costs related to accidents.
  • Regardless of whether adolescents are at school, in paid employment or not, they are still entitled to free dental services.
  • For more information about enrolment, or to find a free adolescent dental care practice near you, please see below or phone 0800 TALK TEETH (0800 825 583).  


Adolescent contracting dental practices 

Adolescent mobile dental providers

  • Mobile dental services are provided to most schools and colleges in Auckland by Lumino Dental, Smilecare Dental, Raukura Hauora O Tainui and the West Auckland Mobile Dental Service
  • The service is provided from a mobile dental surgery on the school grounds
  • You can view a list of schools where the adolescent mobile service operates


General Dental Check

Your child's first dental appointments should start when they are about 1 year old.

At your child’s general dental check they will have a full clinical dental examination by a registered Dental Therapist/Oral Health Therapist. Dependent on your child's age and needs this may include x-rays to check for problems below the gum, between & inside teeth, bone areas and tissue within the mouth.

Your child will also have their dental needs assessment completed. The assessment will help determine the best time for your child to be seen for their next general dental check - 6, 12 or 18 months’ time.

The dental needs assessment considers several things:

  • The clinical dental examination
  • X-ray results (if applicable)
  • Your child’s diet and brushing habits
  • Any dental problems your child has had in the past
  • Some medical factors
  • Preventive treatments used.

You can talk to your Dental Therapist/Oral Health Therapist if you have any questions about your child’s dental treatment or dental needs assessment.

Below are some ways you can help to keep your child's teeth healthy:

  • Brush teeth two times a day with fluoride toothpaste
  • Give your child water to drink when thirsty, it is fresh and free
  • Don’t let your child sleep with a bottle in their mouth
  • Keep sweet foods to meal times and try to give teeth a rest of 2 hours between eating
  • Give sugar free snacks such as bread, cheese, vegemite, fresh fruit, vegetables, egg, plain crackers.

If you want to know more about what dental care and advice we provide, talk to the Dental Therapist/Oral Health Therapist at your nearest clinic or call: 0800 TALK TEETH (0800 825 5833)

All babies born in Auckland's main hospitals are automatically registered with the FREE Children's Community Dental Service. You will receive a text message to welcome you and your child will be invited to attend a free dental appointment when they are about 1 year old.

If your child is new to Auckland or new to New Zealand they may not be registered with us. To enrol/register your child please complete the on-line  ARDS Dental registration and Update Details E-Form

Once completed, at the bottom of the form, you can choose to either email the form or print and post to:
Private Bag 93115
Henderson 0650

Note: PDF downloads require the free Adobe Reader application to view.

Alternatively, you can phone 0800 TALK TEETH (0800 825 583), or contact one of our dental facilities.

Contact us 

Please contact ARDS on 0800 TALK TEETH (0800 825 583)

If you would like to update your contact details and include an email address on your child’s file, please email

Frequently asked questions 

Babies, children and adolescents are entitled to free dental care from new-born until their 18th birthday.

-          An oral health examination that checks teeth, cheeks, gums and health of the supporting facial tissues.

-          Advice and encouragement about how to take care of teeth and gums for good oral health and a lovely smile!

-          Dental X-rays, when necessary

-          Preventive treatments that help prevent decay, such as fluoride and fissure sealants (coatings)

-          Fillings on baby and adult teeth (restorations) and removing baby teeth (extractions) if needed.  A referral when more comprehensive care is needed is also part of our care.

Phone 0800 TALK TEETH (0800 825 583) to speak to one of our friendly staff. We are happy to help find a suitable time and the  best place for you to come to an appointment.

Generally, your children will see a dental therapist or oral health therapist.

However, for some specialised treatments, your child may need to be seen by a dentist.

We have dental clinics across Auckland that support accessibility for people with physical disabilities. If you have questions please phone 0800 TALK TEETH to discuss your child’s specific needs.

Primary or baby teeth start developing before your child is born and will start to come through in the mouth at around six months. All 20 teeth will be through by about age three, and at around six years the adult teeth will begin to come through. For more information please see the Ministry of Health

Most children do suffer some pain during teething. Their cheeks may appear red and warm to touch. Using special gels and teething rings can help to reduce the pain. However, teething does not cause health problems like high fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, and ear infection. If the child has any of these symptoms, or if pain continues, it is best to consult with a health professional.

Children should start using fluoride toothpaste as soon as their first teeth come through the gums. An adult should make sure that only a smear (rice gran size) be used for children under two and a pea-size for children over six years.

Loose baby teeth are a normal part of growing and will almost always fall out by themselves, some take longer than others and sometimes the new tooth can be seen before the baby tooth comes out. Please encourage your child to keep wiggling the tooth, even if it might be a bit uncomfortable. If a loose baby tooth takes more than a couple of months to fall out or your child is in significant discomfort or pain, please contact 0800 TALK TEETH (0800 825 583) to talk to one of our friendly staff about it.

Tooth decay, dental decay or a cavity is the gradual break down of the tooth, most commonly caused by sugar. The bacteria in the plaque in your mouth turns sugar on your teeth into acid. This acid attacks the enamel of your teeth and after repeated attacks creates a hole or cavity.

Dental plaque is a soft, sticky coating of bacteria that forms on teeth every day. If not removed by brushing and flossing, the bacteria in dental plaque can cause tooth decay and gum disease.