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Tips for keeping tamariki's teeth clean:

  • Brush teeth with fluoride toothpaste for two minutes, twice a day
  • Spit, don't rinse after brushing
  • Avoid drinking sugary drinks. Tap water is still the best drink for thirst
  • Eat snacks with no added sugar
  • FREE dental care is available for under 18 year olds

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Dental care is free for New Zealand kids until their 18th birthday – call 0800 Talk Teeth (0800 825 583) to find out about the dental service in your area.

Good oral health is vital for your general health and well-being. Poor oral health and pain and sufferings in the mouth can have a significant impact on quality of life. In this section you can find information on common dental problems, treatments and oral health care for all age groups.


  • Once your child is 6 years old start using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste
  • Make sure your child is not eating or swallowing toothpaste
  • Encourage them to spit the toothpaste out after brushing and not to rinse the mouth
  • Brush twice a day, morning and night, for two minutes and brushing last thing at night time before bed is very important
  • Hold the brush at 45 - degree angle to the gum line and brush gently by moving the brush back and forth in short, tooth-wide strokes
  • Make sure the child is brushing the outer, inner and chewing surfaces of all the teeth in upper and lower jaws
  • Check your child's brush regularly and replace it every three months or soon after the bristles start to wear out

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    Last updated 1 August 2023.