Children’s Dentistry

It's important to take care of a child’s oral health from day dot. In New Zealand, dental checkups are free for children under 18. If your child has their first tooth or is six months old, we recommend scheduling their first visit. 

Gentle Dental oral health therapist with playful illustration
Smiling child with playful illustration

The Importance of Early Dental Care

Taking your children to the dentist from a young age helps them form good oral hygiene habits for life.

It also ensures any dental issues are taken care of early on and helps avoid future problems from developing. Our friendly staff aim to make your child’s dental visits enjoyable and a normal part of their development. We recommend booking their first appointment when they get their first tooth or at six months old.

Preventative Dental Care at Home

You’re never too young to look after your teeth! A child’s oral health habits should start from the moment they get their first tooth.

Don’t worry. Looking after your child’s teeth is as easy as caring for your own. Children need their teeth brushed twice a day and you can start flossing their teeth once they start to fit closely together. As they grow older, you can start teaching them how to brush and floss on their own.

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Your Child’s First Appointment

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At your child’s first appointment our friendly dentists will exam their teeth and gums to make sure everything looks healthy. Many young children want to be examined sitting in their parent’s lap as this can make the experience feel less scary. As your child gets older, they will naturally become more comfortable with each visit. Keeping up regular visits helps them get used to being examined and will ensure any problems with their teeth and gums are caught early.  

What to Expect at Your Child’s Appointment

Playstation and toys in Gentle Dental's children friendly room


See us at six months or after your child’s first tooth 


You are required to stay with your child


Appointments take 30 – 60 minutes


You may be asked about your child’s dental or medical history


Free appointments for under 18s


Oral hygiene education and advice 

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does children’s dentistry cost?

Dental care is free for children under 18 years of age in New Zealand. This includes regular checkups, x-rays, teeth cleanings, fillings, extractions and any preventative treatments like flouride or fissure sealants. This does not cover the cost of orthodontic treatments. 

When should I take my child to the dentist for the first time?

You should book a dental appointment for your child after their first tooth erupts or at six months of age. Annual dental appointments will help your child stay on top of any dental issues before they become a problem.  

How do I prevent my child from getting cavities?

More than 40% of five-year-olds have tooth decay. Cavities are also one of the leading causes of preventable hospital stays among New Zealand children. This is why the habits children adopt at home from a young age are so important. Children should brush their teeth twice a day and floss once a day, once their teeth are close enough to require flossing. It’s important to supervise your child’s brushing until they are old enough to brush all their teeth independently. Diet plays a large part in the health of a child’s teeth. Replacing soft drinks with sugar and processed food with whole foods, fruits and vegetables will prevent cavities from forming.