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

Dental and Oral Health

To our Auckland whānau

 We have now commenced our COVID-19 Recovery Plan. This means we need to firstly offer appointments to children who have been identified as requiring treatment and those waiting the longest for their routine examination.  We also offer an acute service for any child who is experiencing dental pain.

 This is because, during Levels 3 and 4, there were national restrictions on the health services able to be offered to minimise the risk of spreading COVID-19. This included restrictions on routine dental treatments and check-ups.

 We apologise in advance for the delays this may cause for some children who are due a routine check-up. Please be assured that we will contact you as soon as we are able to offer your child an appointment with our service.

 In the meantime, if your child is in pain or you have immediate concerns with their teeth, please phone 0800 TALK TEETH (0800-8255-83384).

 Alternatively, find the direct-dial of your nearest clinic here. Our staff will be available to discuss your concerns with you directly and will offer your child an appointment if required.

 Kind regards,

The Children’s Community Dental Service.


School dental service (ARDS)

Good oral health and hygiene is an important part of general health for the whole family.

Waitemata DHB supports and funds oral health promotion, education and treatment services for our young Waitemata residents, setting them up for good oral health for life.

  • The Auckland Regional Dental Service (ARDS) provides free care for pre-school children who have been enrolled with the service at ARDS clinics throughout greater Auckland
  • The service also operates from mobile clinics around the region
  • The free dental care that ARDS provides carries on when your child begins school (Years 1-8)
  • If your child starts school and is not already enrolled with ARDS, you can access an enrolment pack from a dental clinic or complete an ARDS enrolment form
  • To view ARDS frequently asked questions, please click here 

Clinics in your area

  • You can view a list of hub clinics in your area
  • To enrol your child or ask questions, please contact ARDS on 0800 TALK TEETH (0800 825 583)


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

Adolescent dental care

  • Free dental care continues for your child when they move to secondary school (Year 9 onwards), right up until your child turns 18
  • To receive free treatment your child is required to enrol with a dentist who holds a contract with the DHB in your area

Adolescent contracting dentists

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

If you would like to discuss enrolment or find a contracting dentist near you, please call 0800 TALK TEETH (0800 825583)

Services / Treatments (from birth to school year 8)

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 mealtimes 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)


The Auckland Regional Dental Service provides free care for eligible patients.

Please find a list of clinics currently open in ARDS


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Dental and Oral Health

Healthpoint provides up-to-date information about our services at Waitemata DHB. Find out more about our Auckland Regional Dental (ARDS) services

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