Central Lakes, Dunedin - South Otago, Southland, Waitaki > Dentistry > Te Whatu Ora - Health New Zealand Southern >

Community Oral Health Service | Southern | Te Whatu Ora

General Dentist Service


ORAL HEALTH CARE FOR CHILDREN (from birth until the end of Year 8 at school)

We offer free basic preventive, treatment and specialist oral care to children that meet our eligibility criteria for publicly funded health care.

Supporting oral and dental health to get off to a good start is an important part of ongoing good health and well-being throughout childhood and beyond.

Enrol your child

Free basic dental care is available to New Zealand children and includes:

  • Dental Checkups
  • Oral health advice and encouragement for good oral health
  • Examination and dental X-rays, if necessary
  • Preventative treatment, such as topical fluoride and fissure sealants (coatings)
  • Restorations (fillings) and extractions

Children will receive their checkups from the Community Oral Health Service. Our Mobile Dental Clinics visit various locations across the Southern region. 

Who is eligible for free basic oral and dental care?

Basic oral and dental care is available to children who are in the care of:

  • A NZ Citizen or holder of either a New Zealand Resident Visa or Permanent Resident Visa
  • An Australian Citizen or Australian permanent resident who has spent, or intends to spend, at least 2 consecutive years in New Zealand
  • An interim visa holder who was eligible immediately before their interim visa started
  • A refugee, protected person or victim of people trafficking
  • A NZ Aid programme student

To find your local Community or Mobile Clinic, click on the area nearest you:

Waitaki - Ōamaru to Palmerston

Dunedin City and South Otago

Alexandra and Central Lakes

Invercargill City and Southland

To find out more or to enrol in the Community Oral Health Service, please contact:

Otago: 0800 672 543  Email:
Southland: 0800 570 300 Email:

Government Funded/Subsidised Dental Care


Free dental care to children from birth through to the end of school year 8 (second year of intermediate school). Free dental care is provided by our Community Oral Health Service for all eligible children.

Document Downloads

Contact Details

  • Otago Phone

    0800 672 543

  • Southland Phone

    0800 570 300

  • Email


This page was last updated at 3:36PM on March 15, 2024. This information is reviewed and edited by Community Oral Health Service | Southern | Te Whatu Ora.