Print this topic

HealthInfo Canterbury

Dental care for school children

Primary and intermediate school children (years 1 to 8) are seen in dental vans which visit schools and in local community dental clinics.

The free service operates during school terms, with schools letting parents know when the dental van will be visiting. If your child needs more complicated care or orthodontic treatment, the community dental service will arrange a referral to your family dentist or the Hospital Dental Service.

At the end of Year 8, the community dental service will transfer your Year 8 child to free adolescent dental care. This can be your family dentist if you choose. If your Year 8 child is allocated a dentist who isn't your family dentist, you can change this by contacting the Adolescent Oral Health Coordinator on (03) 335-4230 or email

Find a dentist

If you'd like to find a family dentist, there are many Christchurch and Canterbury dentists to choose from.

If you have questions about your child's dental care, you can contact the Community Dental Service by calling 0800-846-983 or by emailing

Quick tips for parents of young children

  HealthInfo recommends the following pages

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed October 2018.

See also:

Eligibility of children for free dental care

Page reference: 49117

Review key: HIDCC-49010