Preschool Children | Te Whatu Ora - Te Tai Tokerau

Preschool Children

What to expect at my pre-schooler's dental appointment

When and Where

Preschool children see an oral health or dental therapist, by appointment, every year at their nearest oral health clinic or mobile clinic. We like to see children for their first dental appointment at 12 months of age. You can call 0800 MY TEETH  (0800 698 3384) or click here to make an appointment.

Getting Comfortable

Children will be encouraged to sit in the dental chair, however, if unsure they can sit on their parent's knee. In order to make children more comfortable, our oral health or dental therapists will familiarise children with all the instruments (e.g. the suction/air) before use.

Mouth Exam

Your oral health or dental therapist will examine the teeth using a mirror, probe and light. If there are any concerns with the way the teeth are growing, your therapist will discuss options with you.



Bitewing x-rays will be offered to children over the age of three years. These x-rays will help your oral health or dental therapist identify tooth decay earlier.


Preventing Decay

For children over the age of two years, the dental therapist may apply fissure sealant to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. This will prevent tooth decay in those hard to reach places.

Your oral health or dental therapist may offer to apply fluoride varnish, to keep the teeth protected. 


Tips and Tricks

The oral health or dental therapist will demonstrate correct cleaning techniques for your child’s teeth and share tips to keep their teeth strong and healthy. You will be able to ask/discuss any questions you may have.   

If the oral health or dental therapist identifies any staining, calculus or tooth decay they will discuss treatment options with you. You may need to come back for another appointment.

For more information about common dental treatments click here.

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