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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Dental care for school children

Te ratonga niho mō ngā tamariki i te kura

Primary and intermediate school tamariki (children) (years 1 to 8) are seen in dental vans that visit schools and in Community Dental Clinics.

The free service operates during school terms, with schools letting parents know when the dental van will be visiting. If your tamaiti (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 tamaiti to free adolescent dental care. This can be your family dentist if you choose.

If your Year 8 tamaiti is allocated a dentist who is not your family dentist, you can change this by contacting the Adolescent Oral Health Coordinator on (03) 335-4230 or email

Finding a dentist

If you would 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 email.

Quick tips for parents of young tamariki

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed March 2022.

See also:

Eligibility of children for free dental care

Page reference: 49117

Review key: HIDCC-49010